With 60pc adults vaccinated, Sabah to restore ‘zoning’ system

Sabah currently prohibits inter-district travel except for essential services and emergencies. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Sabah currently prohibits inter-district travel except for essential services and emergencies. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 23 — Sabah will reintroduce the state zoning system and possibly allow inter-district travel once 70 per cent adult vaccination is reached, said state Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

He said his recommendations follow discussions with state Health director Dr Rose Nani Mudin to impose the relaxation in stages.

“People can move around within one of the six zones, except those from districts that have yet to achieve a 60 percent adult vaccination rate.

“I have also proposed for inter-district travel when the vaccination rate achieves at least 70 per cent,” he said in his winding speech at the state assembly sitting here.

The state currently prohibits inter-district travel except for essential services and emergencies but previously outlined six zones within its 27 districts to allow for more economic activities.

Masidi said that the state was hoping to reach 90 per cent adult vaccination by the end of October along with the rest of the country, and can open up most sectors of the economy, including domestic tourism by then.

“That’s why we need to ramp up efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible to reach this target,” he said.

Masidi said that the current downtrend of cases was a good indication that the situation was improving but said that people should not be complacent as the virus was still prevalent within the community.

“I think the worst is over, but I say this cautiously because of the variants so anything is possible,” he said, while citing Sarawak as an example of new variants sparking another wave of cases in the state.

Masidi, who is also state local government and housing minister, said that although the state was behind other states in terms of the vaccination rate, it was among the first to vaccinate teenagers and topped the list in that respect. 

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