KOTA KINABALU, July 30 — Full compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) and increasing vaccination rate among the people are keys to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Sabah, state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said.
He said the lockdown method especially the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) is no longer effective to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state because the virus is already in the community.
“When the virus is already in the community, every individual could potentially be a carrier or spreader. Hence, restricting their movements alone without SOP or vaccination can cause the number of cases to increase,” he said to Bernama via WhatsApp today.
The Sabah COVID-19 spokesperson said increasing the vaccination rate would help the state achieve herd immunity while enforcement of SOP compliance was proven to be more effective in reducing COVID-19 infections within the community.
“These approaches are proven to be effective in other places. What we need is an adequate supply of the vaccine and an uninterrupted delivery schedule,” he added.
Masidi said what was more worrying is that the people did not realise that they could be carriers of the virus, adding that the people of Sabah were experiencing lockdown fatigue which may cause them to not fully adhere to the SOP.
“Vaccinated or not, each of us has the potential to carry the virus, in fact, we can still infect the people around us despite being in a lockdown or EMCO,” he said.
Asked about the COVID-19 situation in Sabah, he said the mass screening conducted by the state Health Department found that close contacts were the largest contributor to the daily new cases over the past few days.
Today alone, 640 cases or 60.04 per cent of the total 1,066 new cases were detected among close contacts, he said.
Meanwhile, Masidi said the state Health Department was working to boost the vaccination capacity to 60,000 doses per day from the current 50,000 doses daily, depending on the supply of the vaccine.