PUTRAJAYA,Sept 15: Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Putrajaya has not yet decided on implementing an enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Tawau and Lahad Datu in Sabah.

He maintained that the spread of the Covid-19 virus was still under control there, as most of the cases detected were in the Tawau prison and Lahad Datu lockup.

“Recently, all kinds of fake news has been spread, causing panic among the public, especially those in Lahad Datu and Tawau.

“We have been given a detailed briefing by the health ministry about the situation. The government has not yet decided to implement an EMCO as it will involve 511,000 people in Tawau and 266,000 people in Lahad Datu,” he told a press conference today.

He said the health ministry would be conducting targetted screenings of about 25,000 people in Tawau and 13,000 in Lahad Datu.

This will take place in, among others, the Sri Tanjung, Wallace Bay and Merotai townships as these have been found to be linked with the Benteng LD and Laut clusters.

“We have identified these locations and we will screen. After that, we will evaluate and if there’s a need for EMCO.

“But for now, we haven’t made a decision because the health ministry is still screening people.”

Ismail said the health ministry would also set up special quarantine centres for low-risk individuals, similar to the one set up in MAEPS in Serdang during the outbreak in the immigration depots.

One of the blocks in the Tawau prison will be used as a quarantine centre for persons under surveillance (PUS), while a community hall in Lahad Datu will be used for the same purpose.

He reminded residents to take preventive measures and maintain personal hygiene.

“If there’s no need to go out, then it’s better for you to stay at home. If you do have to go out, maybe for certain needs, then go. But even so, try to avoid crowded and confined places,” he advised.

Ismail also said the police arrested 132 people yesterday for flouting the recovery MCO, with 118 fined and 14 remanded.

Twelve had been caught at a private party, 27 for not wearing masks, 12 for failing to register customers, 49 for activities that made physical distancing difficult, 30 for flouting the EMCO and two for failing to pay their quarantine bill.

He reminded the public that activities at private parties, pubs and nightclubs were still not permitted under the RMCO.

Police also arrested 46 illegal immigrants while confiscating three road vehicles and a boat as part of its ongoing Ops Benteng campaign.

He also said Putrajaya had agreed to allow Malaysian students to leave the country to continue their studies or register as new students without requiring approval from the Immigration Department.

They only need to present their offer letter at the immigration checkpoint, and two people may accompany the student going abroad.


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