No need for EMCO in Tawau, Lahad Datu: Ismail Sabri

KOTA KINABALU (BERNAMA) — There is no necessity to implement the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in Tawau and Lahad Datu despite a surge in COVID-19 cases in the two districts, said Malaysian Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said any tightening of restrictions would be done through targetted EMCO in the locality with COVID-19 infections.

“Previously, if there were several cases in Sabah, we closed the whole of Sabah; if cases happened in Tawau, we closed the whole district. But now this is unfair because there are no COVID-19 cases in Kota Kinabalu and Sepanggar, so we won’t impose a lockdown.

“Now we focus on the affected locality; for example, if there are COVID-19 cases in Tawau Prison, we impose EMCO in that locality only,” he told reporters at the Sabah-level Pingat Jasa Malaysia presentation to armed forces veterans yesterday.

He said the Health Ministry (MOH) was constantly monitoring developments in Tawau and Lahad Datu and if the situation worsened in several villages, targeted EMCO would be imposed.

He said the spread of the virus seemed rampant in the area because MOH conducted daily screenings and the results were also obtained daily.

“MOH has identified individuals at risk including close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases and the locality for conducting screenings.

“Any individual detected positive will be taken straight to the treatment centre,” he added.

Ismail Sabri said based on MOH advice, green and yellow zones were regularly monitored and the appropriate action would be taken immediately if any zone turned red.

After the Benteng LD Cluster was announced on September 1, three more clusters have emerged in Lahad Datu and Tawau, namely the Laut (Kunak), Pulau (Kunak) and Selamat (Semporna) clusters.

Malaysian Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob during a press conference. PHOTO: BERNAMA