Covid-19: Concerns over the lack of discipline among those under home quarantine

KOTA KINABALU: The public are expressing concern over the seemingly lack of discipline among those suspected with Covid-19 as well as those under home quarantine, with many claiming that these people are still roaming outside their homes.

A resident in Telipok, whose residential area was under the enhanced movement control order from July 29 to Aug 25, said during that period, there were still many people sitting and chatting with neighbours.

She claimed that they were wearing white wristbands but did not adhere to the home self-quarantine standard operating procedures.

“I stay at the top floor so I can see what happens downstairs, and I feel frustrated.

“There were no authorities around to order these people to return to their homes and I didn’t see anyone getting fined for breaching the SOP,” she said.

A resident in Penampang wondered whether those under home quarantine were allowed out of their houses at all.

“I live in a village where the houses are considerably close to one another and every evening, this Covid-19 positive guy comes out of his house, walking around, taking a smoke and talking to others from afar.

“But the question is, is this allowed? I mean isn’t the virus airborne? Is he not risking others when he goes out of this house to smoke and talks so loud (possibly spreading virus through air particles),” she asked.

Sabah Commissioner of Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said a person under home quarantine was allowed out of his or her houses and to walk around the compounds, provided there was a certain distance from another person’s property.

“Those who are not sure, can call health officials or police for clarification.

“The public should report any suspected breach of quarantine to the authorities immediately when they see such actions, best with some proof to back their claims,” he said.

There was a case in Kota Belud district where those who tested positive for the virus refused to alert the authorities and chose to self-quarantine.

However, when neighbours visit their homes, they still welcome them and remain silent on their health status.

“They only told the people that they were Covid-19 positive when other people start falling sick,” said a villager close to the family.

“It is irresponsible of them; they should inform the authorities and let villagers know as well so that proper precautions and actions such as getting ourselves tested if we did have close contact with them recently,” added the villager.

It is learnt that almost a dozen people were later tested positive for the virus, while quite a number are still waiting for their results.

On Tuesday (Aug 31), State Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that community spread remains a key concern for the authorities in Sabah.

He said from the 2,594 new Covid-19 cases recorded on Aug 31, some 60% or 1,573 were from direct contacts.

He said the number of cases from community spread was rising with 787 (29.4%) detected from symptomatic screening.

Masidi added that sporadic spread was a real concern as it was difficult to pinpoint its origins as the virus was already within the community.

“The trend of these cases show that there is still a lack of SOP adherence among people in Sabah,” he said.

The Star

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