Monday, March 23, 2020

12 Tabligh members nabbed

Tabligh members arriving at the Tawau CIQ after returning to Sabah after Indonesia cancelled the tabligh event in Sulawesi.
Photo: FMT
KOTA KINABALU: Security forces have detained a group of 12 tabligh members returning from a cancelled event in Indonesia and placed them in quarantine.
News of their detention came as Sabah reported 22 new Covid-9 cases Sunday, bringing the total to 158.
Tawau Police Chief ACP Peter Ambuas confirmed the detention of the 12 tabligh members from Tawau who were supposed to attend the international gathering in Sulawesi, Indonesia, which was later cancelled.
They had tried to enter Sabah waters off Tawau on a boat but ran into joint patrols of the marine police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and armed forces at about 3.20pm.
Authorities had been alerted to the return of the group in the morning after they reached Sungai Pancang in Sebatik Island, Indonesia from Sulawesi.
They were escorted to the Tawau Customs and Immigration Quarantine Centre, before being handed over to National Security Council personnel.
It is understood the 12 tabligh members are being held in quarantine at the Tawau Teachers Institute campus.
The State Government recently announced that all those who wanted to return from Sulawesi would be barred from entering the State.
Meanwhile, Sabah Health Department Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said Sabah has recorded a total of 158 positive Covid-19 cases as of Sunday, with a jump of 22 new cases compared to 136 on Saturday. 
She said only one death was reported on March 20.
Of the 158 cases, Dr Christina said 82 had attended the tabligh ijtima convention at Seri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, while 71 cases were in contact with these cases and the rest were not related.
 “Nonetheless, all cases are being investigated and control and prevention measures are still being implemented,” she said in a statement, Sunday.
Of 26 districts in Sabah, she said 14 districts have reported Covid-19 cases and all the cases were warded at five out of six hospitals in the State that have specialists.
“So far, only one patient has been discharged from hospital and has been admitted to a nearby quarantine centre after two samples of ‘orofarinks’ were confirmed negative.
 “However, the patient will continue to be quarantined until March 31,” Dr Christina said.
On a recent viral message that about a tabligh member’s wife claiming to have been confirmed with Covid-19 carrying a coughing child into a Penampang Polyclinic, she said it was not true.
She urged the public not to be unduly worried over the incident and not to spread unverified information related to Covid-19.
She also advised the public to obtain valid and verified information through the Ministry of Health official website at
In accordance with the directive of the federal Ministry of Finance, Dr Christina said the UTC Kota Kinabalu Health Clinic service is temporarily closed beginning Sunday (March 22) during the Movement Control Order until March 31.
She said the pharmacy services and drive thru pharmacies at the UTC Kota Kinabalu Health Clinic can be obtained at outpatient treatment service at health clinics, namely at Luyang, Inanam and Manggatal in Kota Kinabalu which operates from 8am till midnight. 
The health clinic in Telipok operates from 8am until 5pm and while the health clinic in Penampang and Putatan from 8am until midnight.