Sabah polls: Political parties comply with SOP to curb Covid-19 during campaign

The Sabah state snap elections are set to be held just over two weeks from now on September 26. ― Bernama pic
The Sabah state snap elections are set to be held just over two weeks from now on September 26. ― Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 16 — Candidates and supporters of parties contesting in the 16th Sabah state election have generally complied with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak, but there is still much room for improvement.

Bernama checks in Semporna, Tawau, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu revealed that candidates, party supporters as well as voters attending election campaign activities adhered to the SOP by wearing face masks, observing physical distancing and using hand sanitiser.

In addition, the hosts of the political talks held in several locations in Sandakan were heard reminding members of the audience to wear face masks and keep their physical distance from time to time.

In larger campaign areas, the organisers also provided loud hailers to ensure the speaker’s voice could be heard by the audience to avoid them from crowding the venue.

Candidates in Semporna who held talks in their housing areas, took the initiative to provide the QR Code for the MySejahtera apps to record attendance.

Meanwhile in Tawau, most political talk organisers were seen providing temperature measuring equipment and hand sanitisers to the candidates as well as the supporters.

Compliance of the SOP to contain the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak was also observed during talks or other campaign activities held at night in villages located in the rural areas such as in Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom despite the absence of local authorities to monitor the campaign.

However, there were still those who did not wear their masks properly, keeping the masks on their chins and failed to keep a safe physical distancing.

Besides that, some party supporters were also seen rushing to the leaders or candidates visiting the areas to shake their hands.

Yesterday, Health Director-General Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Ministry of Health would soon conduct a large-scale Covid-19 screening test for the people in Lahad Datu, Tawau and Kunak.

He said the massive screening was expected to involve between 15,000 and 20,000 individuals in the three districts following the continuous detection of positive Covid-19 cases apart from the occurrence of a new cluster in Kunak known as the Pulau Cluster, after eight new cases were detected in the district yesterday. — Bernama


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