KUALA LUMPUR – The government had not acted too late in implementing the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Sabah to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
The prime minister said the government had reinforced health services in the state, including increasing the number of health workers and financial allocations as well as tightening borders to prevent encroachment by illegal immigrants.
“It is still not too late on what we have decided yesterday and we already affirmed our decision for Sabah. I can explain what we have done, for example in the area of medical healthcare.
“Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has done an excellent job in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Sabah including deploying the frontliners.
“We have approved the request in terms of staffing. Contract nurses and doctors are taken in just like before to fulfil Sabah’s requirements,” he told a media conference at his residence in Putrajaya today.
Sabah has been placed under the CMCO from Oct 13 until Oct 26.
Muhyiddin said the government had also increased patrols in Sabah waters by adding security assets and increasing enforcement presence from the Malaysian Armed Forces, police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and others.
“What makes it difficult for us (the government) to act there (Sabah) is due to the COVID-19 cases involving illegal immigrants because there are many rat trails used to sneak into the country. That is why the National Security Council had decided to increase patrols in the area,” he said.
He said border controls, especially in the eastern waters of Sabah, would be further tightened in an effort to curb the illegal entry of migrants from Indonesia and the Philippines.
“It is a multi-dimensional approach and we will monitor it closely. By doing this, we hope things will be under control in Sabah,” Muhyiddin said, adding that those arrested were deported to their respective countries.