KOTA KINABALU, Dec 27 — From December 28, all travellers from United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Norway, France, Canada, Denmark, Nigeria, United States, India and Pakistan intending to travel to Sabah must undergo compulsory quarantine at the first port of arrival into the country.

This includes Sabahans traveling or returning from these 11 countries.

State Covid-19 spokesperson Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun on Sunday said they must undergo quarantine at centres set up by the government before they can continue their journey to Sabah.

In a statement on Friday night, Masidi said travellers arriving from countries that are subject to temporary travel restrictions or have a travel history within 14 days from those countries are allowed to enter Sabah but must comply with the conditions set by the state government.

For one, he said they had to take a Covid-19 RT-PCR test two days prior to departure from the countries.

“They (travellers) are also required to fill in the e-Health Declaration Form (eHDF) and those who did not meet the criteria to enter Sabah must obtain special approval from the Internal Affairs and Research Office by referring to the eligibility requirements at https://phednp.wixsite.com/website.

“Apart from that, they will also be required to take RT-PCR test upon arrival at the first entry point to Malaysia, to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days at the designated quarantine station regardless of their vaccination status,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ranau registered the highest increase of Covid-19 cases in Sabah on Sunday with 26 compared to only 10 on Saturday.

However, the number of cases in the state is on a downward trend with 108 cases reported on Sunday, a decrease of 19 cases from Saturday.

Tuaran recorded 16 cases, Kota Kinabalu 14 cases, Penampang 10 cases. These four districts are the remaining ones in the state with double digit infection cases.

All other districts recorded single digit cases and nine districts did not report any new infection. One fatality in Kota Belud was recorded.

Of the 108 cases on Sunday, 104 are in categories 1 and 2, two in category 3 and one each in categories 4 and 5.

Based on the number of daily cases on December 25, the expected infectious rate or R0/RT for the whole country is 0.88 and for Sabah 0.81. A lower R0/RT rate is a benchmark of a declining and controlled transmission rate.

Meanwhile, Masidi when asked about the umrah cluster in Sandakan and asked whether there has been any of the Omricon strain detected among those infected, replied, “None that I know of”.

A man who returned from Saudi Arabia after performing the umrah has triggered a Covid-19 cluster dubbed as the Millenium Saudi. Screening among the umrah entourage and close contacts found 10 others were also infected.

New Covid-19 cases in the country yesterday dipped below the 3,000 mark, with 2,778 cases recorded, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 2,741,179.

The last time Malaysia recorded less than 3,000 cases in a day was on Dec 20, with 2,589 cases.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said out of yesterday’s total, 2,718 were category one and two cases, with the remainder being category three, four and five cases.

“There were 129 import cases and 2,649 local cases, while 306 cases required intensive care treatment, with 170 on respiratory support,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He also said two more new clusters were detected, bringing the total of clusters still active to 218, while the national infectivity rate was 0.88 as of on Saturday.

Dr Noor Hisham added that 418 Covid-19 cases were detected among flood evacuees with one case at a relief centre as of 3 pm.

According to him, 193 infectious disease cases were also found among flood evacuees, 94 of them being acute respiratory infection cases, skin disease (67), acute gastroenteritis (30) and a single case of hand, foot and mouth disease and conjunctivitis each. — Borneo Post