KOTA KINABALU, March 24 -- Barter trade and the operation of several oil palm plantations in Sabah have been halted until further notice in the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the State Security Council in a meeting today decided to stop barter trade for the time being until the epidemic is brought under control.
“The trading activity is quite worrying as it involved workers coming from abroad whose health condition is unknown.
“We know the trading system involves ships from Indonesia coming to exchange goods in Sabah as well as ships from Hong Kong coming to load up live fish here,” he told reporters after chairing the meeting here today
Mohd Shafie said apart from that, the government had also directed several Felda oil palm plantations in Kinabatangan and Lahad Datu to cease operation including harvesting fruits from today.
“The order was issued as there were many positive contacts of COVID-19 cases from the Seri Petaling Mosque tabligh cluster in the areas concerned,” he said.
He said apart from that, a directive was also issued for all members who attended of the World Asian Zone Tabligh Assembly in Gowa, south Sulawesi to be quarantined at a centre in Tawau before being allowed to return to their respective villages.
“They will be quarantined for a much long period to ensure they are really free of COVID--19 virus. We do not want them to return to their villages when they are not really healthy.
“I understand five are being quarantined so far and there will be nine more coming to the centre. Nonetheless, we do not know the actual number at the assembly,” he said.
Mohd Shafie said the Sabah government would also be channelling RM200,000 allocation to the Sabah State Liaison Office in Kuala Lumpur to assist students from the state in the federal capital.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said the Sabah government has developed a website to provide important information on COVID-19 in the state.
He said the page, http://covid19.sabah.digital/ was an initiative of the government to disseminate official and latest information to the people.
“Apart from that, the website is also a platform to enable the people submit enquiries or complaints direct to the state government on any problems arising from the outbreak,” he said.
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