No more total lockdowns for Sabah
Published on: Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Bernama pic for illustration only.
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government would also not consider implementing a full lockdown despite Sabah’s soaring number of Covid-19 cases, but instead ramp up the vaccination process.

Masidi said it is no longer viable to implement another full lockdown given the State Government’s need to strike a balance between lives and livelihood.

“Continuous lockdowns are almost crippling our economy. A lot of companies have had to close down or incurred big losses. Many have lost their sources of income and are relying on Government assistance. They want to work in order to feed their families and the Government’s capacity to continue handing out assistance and subsidies is limited.

“We have to balance lives and livelihood. And this cannot simply be done with a lockdown or Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO),” said Masidi.

He said the State Government’s current strategy in curbing the pandemic is to ramp up the State’s vaccination rate and for the people to fully comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

“The State Health Department’s (JKNS) capacity to administer vaccines has reached up to 50,000 doses a day and it will be intensified up to 60,000 doses a day depending on the vaccine stock available.

“Total compliance with SOPs prevents us from getting infected, while vaccination gives us immunity from transmissions up to 90 per cent.

“This is our approach. Before this we had no other choice than to implement a lockdown because we did not have the vaccine then. A lockdown (now) would not be able to solve the problem of rising cases,” he said.

Masidi said achieving herd immunity and the people’s SOP compliance would be more effective in lowering the number of transmissions, adding that the State Government’s focus now is to obtain adequate supply of the vaccine in a timely manner.

On Sabah’s surge of cases, which hit a record high of 1,066 cases on Friday, Masidi said it is due to widespread transmission within the community.

“Before this, cases were localised and there were not that many. Close contacts are now the biggest contributors.

“As a result, the cases increase due to intensified screenings made by the State Health Department. As more get tested, more are found positive,” he said.


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