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29 Sep 2020 | 09:25 AM UTC

Malaysia: Authorities introduce heightened restrictions in Sabah state until October 12 /update 29

Malaysia News Alert

Malaysian authorities introduce heightened COVID-19 restrictions in several districts of Sabah state until October 12

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/29/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/12/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kuala_Lumpur). COUNTRY/REGION Sabah state

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Malaysian authorities have introduced heightened restrictions in several districts of Sabah state due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections. The restrictions are to remain in place until October 12 and will be in effect in the districts of Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak, and Semporna. Under the new restrictions, termed a Targeted Enhanced Movement Control Order (TEMCO), non-essential businesses are required to close, and movement in and out of the affected districts is prohibited. Businesses providing essential goods and services and medical facilities are exempt from the closure. Approximately 960,000 people are expected to be affected by the TEMCO.

Disruptions from the movement control order and a heightened security presence are likely in Sabah state in the medium term.

As of Tuesday, September 29, there have been 11,034 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia with 134 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands. 
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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