Ismail Sabri: Only 1% Of Returnees From Sabah Have Tested Positive For COVID-19

The Senior Minister said that while some of the returnees are politicians who were involved in the state elections, the number also includes tourists and those who went to Sabah for official matters or business.

Cover image via SAYS (Facebook)

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has taken it upon himself to offer clarity over the people who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Sabah since the last week of September

Ismail Sabri, who is in charge of security as the Defence Minister, was speaking at a press conference in Putrajaya after a special ministers meeting on COVID-19 earlier today, 3 October.

He said that while many have blamed politicians travelling to and from Sabah for the three-digit spike in COVID-19 numbers, there were tourists and businesspersons who make up the statistics of travellers who were found positive for the virus in other states after visiting Sabah.

"Many blamed politicians. I want to inform here that the figure of Sabah returnees who were screened (upon arrival) is around 13,000. And from this, over 130 have tested positive. This is only one percent from the total number of those who had returned from Sabah," Ismail Sabri said during the press conference.

Image via SAYS (Facebook)

According to him, not all of them were politicians

So, this is not solely on politicians.
Ismail Sabri

There were also tourists and those who had to go to Sabah for official work matters.

"I agree that some of them are politicians who were involved in the state election, but the number also includes tourists who went for a holiday in Sabah, and also those who went there for official matters or business," he said, adding that people started panicking as if 7,000 people tested positive.

"This is only 132, and the number consists of a mix of (individuals).

Meanwhile, he denied rumours that movement control order (MCO) will be reimposed amidst the increase in COVID-19 cases

"Will the movement control order (MCO) be reimplemented across Malaysia? I know many people want to know because there is a special meeting by the National Security Council (NSC) today," he said.

"People asked if there will be an MCO? The answer is no," he told the press conference.

COVID-19 cases have spiked after the Sabah state elections

On Friday, 2 October, Malaysia recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a day at 287.

Prior to which, the highest number of COVID-19 cases recorded in a day was at 277 on 4 June.

All the cases recorded yesterday were local transmissions.

While Kedah reported the highest number of positive cases at 129, followed by Sabah at 113 cases, Selangor, which is the country's most developed and populated state, reported 31 cases.

Following which, UMNO president Zahid Hamidi said that on behalf of all UMNO and BN members, he would like to apologise to Malaysians

According to Zahid Hamidi, while the spike in COVID-19 cases is due to the Sabah elections, holding the elections wasn't Barisan Nasional's (BN) decision.

The UMNO president advised BN members and machinery who were at the Sabah elections to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been set by MOH.

"Take care of yourself and pray that Allah will heal this pandemic," he said.

Keep practising physical distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

Amidst all this, Syed Saddiq blamed the double standard in treatment towards politicians and citizens for the spike in COVID-19 cases:

Meanwhile, starting today, 3 October, restaurants with bars in Selangor will only be allowed to operate up to 11pm daily:

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