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Sabah issues SOPs for CNY
Published on: Thursday, January 27, 2022
By: Anthea Peter
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Kota Kinabalu: Those celebrating the coming Chinese New Year festivity are allowed to hold the Hokkien Clan Special Prayers within their home premises at night according to their respective traditions.

Sabah’s Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic) said the special prayers on Feb 8 and 9 must be conducted in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) outlined for non-Muslim places of worship.  He said family reunion dinners on Jan 31, prayers on Feb 1 and 2, as well as Chap Goh Mei prayers on Feb 21, are permitted subject to SOPs. 

“Visiting activities are permitted for the fully vaccinated, while Chinese New Year receptions are allowed on invitation basis only and at 50 per cent capacity of the venue space, as well as one-meter physical distancing. Uninvited members of the public are not allowed to attend the reception, while open houses are also not allowed,” he said in a statement, Wednesday. 

Masidi added that dragon/unicornlion/tiger dance performances are allowed from Jan 31 to Feb 15, on condition that all dancers are fully vaccinated and with permission granted by the police to move about. 

“One metre physical distancing must be complied with and the use of face masks are mandatory,” he said. 

Masidi said non-Muslim places of worship are allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm subject to SOPs, with each prayer session not exceeding two hours and interspersed with sanitisation activities 30 minutes before the next prayer session. 

Unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated individuals are not allowed to enter the premise or participate in the prayer sessions. 

Meanwhile, Sabah recorded three new clusters on Wednesday, including the seventh educational cluster identified in the State within the last 11 days. 

The education cluster, named as the Jalan Teritipan Cluster in Kota Marudu, was sparked by a form four student of SMK Tandek 2 who had experienced symptoms on Jan 20 and subsequently tested positive with a self-test kit on Jan 22, which was later confirmed with a PCR test on Jan 22. 

“Screenings on 90 contacts at SMK Tandek 2 found another 37 positive, bringing the tally in this cluster to 44. All cases are in category one and two, and have been isolated and given suitable treatment.  Reports by the State Health Department (JKNS), which is currently conducting close contact screenings among hostel students in six schools, indicate it is likely that more clusters involving educational institutions will emerge. 

“The real situation will be known in the next few days,” said Masidi. 

The other two clusters were recorded in Beaufort, one being a high-risk cluster named as the Montenior Cluster, and the other being a workplace cluster, named as the Jalan Binunuk Cluster. 

Masidi said the Montenior Cluster involves a hospital and government clinic in Beaufort and Kg Labak, sparked by 37-year-old female health worker who was tested positive on Jan 12 after experiencing symptoms since the day before. 

“Screenings on 83 contacts found 43 positive cases, 24 from first generation contacts, 17 from second generation contacts and two from third generation contacts. They comprise Beaufort Hospital and Beaufort Clinic staff, patients, the patients’ escorts and family members of health staff.

“The transmission is believed to be caused by outside activities among health staff,” Masidi said. 

The Jalan Binunuk Cluster, which is a workplace cluster involving Risda, Beaufort, was sparked by a 34-year-old local woman living in Papar who is a staff of the company. 

Masidi said she tested positive on Jan 22 after experiencing symptoms since Jan 18. 

“Screenings on 31 close contacts and family members of staff found 13 individuals positive, bringing the tally in this cluster to 14. 

“The source of transmission is believed to be from meetings which was attended by a large number of people in the same facility. The facility has since been temporarily shut down for sanitisation works,” he said. 

Sabah’s cases remained above the 300 mark with 335 cases on Wednesday, a slight increase from 314 the day earlier. Three deaths were recorded, one each in Ranau, Kota Belud and Keningau. 

“Kota Marudu recorded the highest tally in Sabah with 64 cases. 10 other districts recorded double-digit cases, including Penampang (41), Tuaran (40), Kota Kinabalu (40), Sandakan (34) and Ranau (22),” he said. 

Masidi said 330 out of 335 cases were category one and two infections that do not require hospital treatment, while three cases are in category three and one each in category four and five. 

Some 198 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from the hospital while 682 patients are currently receiving treatment at hospitals, low-risk quarantine and treatment centres (PKRCs), prisons/temporary detention centres and private facilities.

On Sabah’s immunisation programme, Masidi said 6,692 individuals were vaccinated on Jan 25, of which 6,630 were adults and 62 were teenagers. 

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