GEORGE TOWN, 25 Sept: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today advised those returning from Sabah to be tested for Covid-19 to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said the decision was made at a special state security meeting today, adding the focus would be on those returning from yellow and red zones.

“Those coming back from Sabah are highly recommended to go through a swab test at government clinics or approved private medical facilities on their own,” he said in a statement.

He also said outlets with entertainment licences could operate until midnight while 24-hour convenience stores were allowed to be open until 2am.

He said during the upcoming Nine Emperor Gods Festival, dine-in was allowed, but subject to “very strict” compliance of SOPs.

Last Sunday, the authorities reported two new Covid-19 cases in Penang, with one individual tested positive after arriving from Sandakan, Sabah on Sept 15. The index case has since been dubbed as the Ara cluster.

Only one relative – a primary school pupil – of the first infected has been detected so far.

Previously, Chow had said a targeted lockdown in light of the Ara cluster was not necessary as only two people had tested positive to date.

Penang has had 143 cases to date, with 135 recovering and two dead.

As of yesterday, there were five red zones in the country –Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna in Sabah and Kota Setar in Kedah.


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