KOTA KINABALU . Jan 21– A total of 36 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) students in Sabah have been confirmed positive for Covid-19 so far, said Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
Masidi, who is also the state’s Covid-19 spokesman, said the cases were identified through screening tests done before students were allowed back to their dormitories to begin their lessons as preparation for their public examinations.
“As of January 20, 36 SPM and STPM students were confirmed to be infected with Covid-19 through screenings as they returned to their dormitories beginning January 16,” he said during his Sabah Covid-19 media conference yesterday.
Masidi said the Sabah Disaster Management Committee has provided internet service at every low-risk Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centre to enable students undergoing treatment and quarantine to follow their lessons online.
Meanwhile, Masidi said it was still too early to evaluate the effectiveness of the movement control order (MCO) in Sabah, which has entered its eighth day today.
He said that the true picture of whether the MCO was effective would only be known after 10 days of enforcement.
According to him, the wave of infections in Sabah now is due to weak compliance to standard operating procedures (SOPs) among citizens before the MCO was enforced.
Masidi, however, did not deny the possibility that the rise in cases the past few days were due to large-scale screening tests conducted by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) on factory workers, especially in the east coast of Sabah.
Although many economic sectors are allowed to operate during the current MCO compared to last year, Masidi believed that the infections would be reduced if all workers complied with the SOPs at their workplace.
406 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the state yesterday, bringing the cumulative total of cases in Sabah to 45,088.
There were also three fresh fatalities linked to the virus in Sabah yesterday, two in Sandakan and one in Kota Kinabalu.
Meanwhile, 416 Covid-19 patients in Sabah recovered and were discharged yesterday, bringing the cumulative total of recoveries to 40,549 patients, he said.