Recently, a 34-year-old man walked all the way to Kota Marudu from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport after he returned from Japan
His name is Alixson Awandoh and he spent three days on the road covering the distance of about 123km to his hometown. Keeping him company was a stray dog who tagged along and never left his side.
His story has now gone viral on social media after it was revealed that he took the decision to walk all the way home to avoid the risk of infecting others with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Sabahan had just been tested at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu after returning from Japan. However, he did not show any symptoms associated with the new coronavirus.
According to Alixson, he did not know the results of his COVID-19 test, so he took the precautionary measure to avoid mixing with the public
"Upon arriving at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport from Japan, I went straight to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to undergo COVID-19 screening, despite having no symptoms," he told Berita Harian.
He said that at the hospital he was told to undergo self-quarantine at home and that there was no need for him to utilise the quarantine facility provided by the Sabah government as he waits for his results.
"Due to unknown test results, I took the precautionary measure to avoid mixing with the public for fear of triggering any infection if in case my results came positive in future," he said, adding that the concern also made him refuse to ride in his elder brother's vehicle who had come to pick him up.
"I made the decision to return to the village on foot from the evening of 26 March and arrived at the village in Kota Marudu on 29 March," Berita Harian quoted him as saying earlier today, 8 April.
Alixson said that as he was walking he encountered a dog on the street who tagged along. During his trip, he would sleep at empty bus stops at night while the dog slept beside him.
He named the dog 'Hachiko' and together they passed by quite a number of roadblocks, where he would be questioned by the cops and army personnel who had a hard time believing Alixson's story
According to a report in The Star Online, when the 34-year-old Sabahan told them that he was headed to Kota Marudu on foot, the authorities did not believe him initially thought he was joking.
However, only after he would explain his reasons and showed them his passport and letters from the hospital as proof that they believed his story and advised him to be careful.
"They also offered to help me hail rides but I declined because I have this dog and I don't want to pose any health risk to anyone, even though the doctors said I should be clear," he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Alixson told Berita Harian that he believes the dog, whom he named after the Japanese Akita dog known for its loyalty, helped keep him safe from danger.
"If not for the dog, maybe the people around me would have thought I was a criminal at night," he said.
I think Hachiko was sent to take care of me throughout my journey from Kota Kinabalu to my hometown.
Once he reached his village, Alixson decided to quarantine himself in a small hut on the farm away from his parents and wait for his results
"I did not go see my parents upon reaching Kota Marudu but went straight to a small hut on the farm because it would be safer for everyone," The Star quoted him as saying today, 7 April.
While his first screening came out clean, he decided to go for another one yesterday.
"I won't rest and will not meet my family until the hospital gives me confirmation that I am free from this virus. For now, Hachiko and I spend our time together at the hut."
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