Sabah to restore inter-district travel ban after spike in Covid-19 cases, says state minister

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Rela officers and police man a roadblock on Jalan Telipok-Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, May 10, 2021. — Bernama pic
Rela officers and police man a roadblock on Jalan Telipok-Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, May 10, 2021. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, May 21 — Sabah will reinstate the inter-district travel ban earlier than planned after a spike of Covid-19 infections in the state over the past three days.

Sabah Covid 19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the state initially planned to put implement the ban from May 27 to June 3, covering the Kaamatan holiday period, similar to its ban over the Hari Raya week.

However, Sabah recorded a sharp increase in infections with 160 cases on May 19, 245 cases yesterday and 144 cases in the past 24 hours, up from 60 cases on May 17 and 90 cases on May 18.

“Due to the latest development, the state government has decided to implement the inter-district travel ban earlier, from May 24 to June 7,” he said in his statement today

The decision is still subject to change, he said.

The inter-district travel ban was intended to control movement and the spread of infections between the districts categorised as red and orange zones to other districts that are either green or yellow zones.

As before, Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang are considered one zone, due to the high number of people travelling to work in these districts.

Sabah currently allows travel within designated zones to allow for socio-economic activities.

The zones for inter-district travel are: Zone 1 — Kota Kinabalu, Kota Belud, Ranau, Tuaran, Penampang, Putatan and Papar; Zone 2 — Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Sipitang; Zone 3 — Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas; Zone 4 — Sandakan, Beluran, Kinabatangan and Tongod; Zone 5 — Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Kalabakan; Zone 6 — Keningau, Tambunan and Tenom.

The state government imposed the total inter-district travel ban from May 10 to 16 to curb the spread of the virus during the Hari Raya season but went back to inter-zone travel on May 17.

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