KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Daily Covid-19 cases in Sabah have doubled since the mandatory 14-day quarantine rule for Sabah returnees was lifted, Najib Razak said.
The former prime minister, in his Facebook post, pointed out that the Covid-19 situation in Sabah is still not under control, as unlinked cases in the country’s poorest state is the highest in Malaysia for the past two months.
He stated how the daily number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah had doubled from 232 cases on November 24 to 476 cases on November 28. From November 25 onwards, all those returning from Sabah do not have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
“I hope that the Perikatan Nasional government realises that the total number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah have doubled since the decision was made, and the number of new cases in Sabah in the ‘other screenings’ category is still the highest in the whole country,” Najib said.
On November 24, in a separate Facebook post, Najib pointed out to the government that although the daily number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah were showing a declining trend, unlinked cases were still high. The average daily number of sporadic cases from November 19 till November 23 was 111.8 cases.
“To me, the ‘other screening’ is the most dangerous because these are the cases that are unrelated to any clusters that have been identified and each case from this category is able to birth a new cluster.”
From October 11 onwards, all Sabah returnees to other parts of the country had to undergo a mandatory screening for Covid-19 and quarantine for 14 days. However, the standard operating procedure (SOP) on mandatory quarantine was lifted from November 25 onwards, which was right before the policy vote in Dewan Rakyat on Budget 2021 on November 26.
Those returning from Sabah now do not have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative on a swab test taken three days prior to departure. The average incubation period of the Covid-19 virus is 5.1 days and 97.5 per cent of people only show symptoms of Covid-19 within 11 days.
Those who tested negative during the first test may still be infected with Covid-19 and those asymptomatic can still transmit Covid-19.
Najib had questioned the government if it was wise to loosen the SOP, considering the number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah, especially sporadic ones, were still high.
“Again, I am firm that each decision made involving the health of the rakyat and the country’s economy should be based on science, and not based on political expediency,” Najib stressed.