Covid-19: Police searching for 69 who escaped from Sabah’s Pulau Gaya lockdown

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Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the Pulau Gaya police station is actively trying to trace at least 69 suspects believed to have escaped while being transported to a quarantine centre. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the Pulau Gaya police station is actively trying to trace at least 69 suspects believed to have escaped while being transported to a quarantine centre. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KOTA KINABALU, July 6 — Authorities are pleading with 69 runaway residents of Kampung Pondo in Pulau Gaya who are suspected to have Covid 19 to surrender themselves as the island undergoes an enhanced movement control order (EMCO).

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that 69 residents of the notorious water village had escaped during the transportation process to the low-risk quarantine centre.

“The state government is urging those who have run away from Kampung Pondo to return home immediately to prevent the virus from spreading to other communities.

“The Pulau Gaya police station is actively trying to trace at least 69 suspects believed to have escaped while being transported to a quarantine centre,” he said in his daily statement today.

“Failure to return to Kampung Pondo and if caught by the local authorities will result in action being taken,” he said.

He said that members of the public who have information about the location of the runaways should inform the police immediately.

The government had ordered an EMCO on Pondo which started on June 30, but it is now extended until July 21 and includes more villages.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced the EMCO will not just be extended but also expanded and will now cover several other villages, namely Kampung Kasuapan, Kampung Lok Urai, Kampung Pulau Gaya and Kampung Pondo.

Health officials recorded a rise in new cases in the locality; 215 new positives were recorded from 1,339 screening tests, with another 25 samples awaiting result, said Ismail Sabri.

38 foreigners were screened for Covid-19 yesterday, and four were found positive.

Sabah today recorded 225 cases of which 70 are in Kota Kinabalu.

Masidi said half of the cases in Kota Kinabalu 70 come from the Pulau Gaya cases.

The island is home to several high-end resorts and also has a floating population of 8,000 to 10,000 people comprising Filipino refugees and migrants, including many who are now naturalised citizens.

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