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153,250 plantation workers in Sabah ordered to undergo COVID-19 screening

26 Jan 2021 / 07:30 H.

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 25: A total of 153,250 workers at 1,160 estates and 33,034 plantations of oil palm smallholders in Sabah have been ordered to undergo COVID-19 screening test within 30 days beginning today.

Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said the order was issued as the number of COVID-19 cases involving the oil palm sector in Sabah is currently at an alarming level.

He said six COVID-19 clusters involving the sector have been identified as a result of the COVID-19 screening programme organised by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) for foreign workers.

“Of these six clusters identified, 254 positive cases were detected involving workers, their family members as well as symptomatic individuals who do not work at the plantations,” he said in a statement today.

Hajiji said any plantation with positive COVID-19 cases would be closed immediately to ensure preventive work could be carried out and its reopening would be subject to the Ministry of Health’s assessment.

Meanwhile, Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said 64 students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tulid in Sook were identified as close contacts of a teacher and students of the school who were tested positive for COVID-19.

“All of them are currently undergoing quarantine at the Keningau Institute of Teacher Education,” he said at the daily press conference on the development of COVID-19 in the state, here tonight.

Masidi said initial investigations carried out on the COVID-19 cases reported at the school found that they might involve community infections which were not from the school.

As such, he said there is no necessity to close the school as disinfection activities have been carried out by the Keningau Health Office, immediately after receiving report on the matter yesterday, adding that the school session would run as usual with strict compliance with the standard operating procedures set.

On the development of COVID-19 in Sabah, Masidi who is also the state government’s official spokesman on COVID-19-related matters said a total of 348 new COVID-19 cases were recorded today, taking the cumulative number of positive cases in the state to 47,139.

He said three were three COVID-19-related fatalities today, namely two in Sandakan and one in Beaufort.

“A total of 400 COVID-19 patients have recovered and were allowed to be discharged today, bringing the cumulative number of cured cases in Sabah to 42,806,” he said.- Bernama

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