KOTA KINABALU • Hit hard by coronavirus infections, Malaysia's Sabah yesterday imposed strict conditions before allowing those outside from entering the state.
The Sabah Immigration Department said non-Sabahans, including foreign nationals, who work in essential services must have valid immigration passes that it had issued before entering Malaysia's second-biggest state by land size.
Others must first obtain special permits prior to entering the state.
"This regulation will be in effect until Oct 16," said the department. "Malaysian permanent residents are also required to obtain the special permit before entering the state."
Sabahans who want to return to the state must have the "H" code on their Malaysian identity cards, called MyKad, to signify they are residents of the state.
Most of the new cases in recent weeks were recorded in Sabah and Kedah states.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin last Saturday said the surge in Sabah was caused by a number of illegal migrants entering the state without authorisation.
Sabah shares its land border with Malaysia's Sarawak state and Indonesia's North Kalimantan province, and also shares sea borders with the southern Philippines and Indonesia's Kalimantan and Sulawesi provinces.
In Sabah's case, the surge in cases was worsened by two weeks of political campaigning before the Sept 26 state polls.
The federal government imposed a ban on inter-district travel for two weeks among Sabah's 27 districts from Saturday. Generally, only those working in essential services such as medicine, security and food supplies are allowed to travel between districts.
Malaysia yesterday recorded 293 new Covid-19 infections, slightly lower than 317 cases last Saturday, which was a record high since the pandemic hit the country in March.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK