3,000 personnel to deliver food to villages


Shafie (centre) at the press conference

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has assigned machineries involving 3,000 personnel to deliver food supplies to villages in all the districts throughout Sabah.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal said the effort was to ensure the vulnerable communities reduce their mobility and comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) by ensuring they have ample supply of goods and food items.

“The State Government has assigned machineries through Community Development Leaders (PPM) that involve more than 3,000 people in all districts to ensure the goods are supplied to the poor people,” he said.

Shafie also assured that the food items would reach those who have not received the supplies yet.

He said this in a press conference after receiving 83 boxes of face masks, equivalent to 166,000 pieces, donated by the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu and several Chinese enterprises at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2 here yesterday.

Shafie said the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah was still under control with 197 positive cases while fatality remained at one case in Tawau.

He said the State Government had identified a few approaches to manage the MCO more effectively, including discouraging inter-district travel.

He added that the State Government had also prepared face masks and sanitizers for schools and university when the learning institutions reopened.

“We will also ensure children staying at school or university hostels have sufficient food supply.”

On the government’s decision to bar non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from distributing aid to the needy, Shafie said the government wanted to reduce human contact to prevent further spread of the virus.

He said NGOs could utilize the State Government’s existing machineries to deliver their donations.

“We want to reduce the number of people we deploy or else we would have defeated the purpose of having a lockdown,” he explained.

He hoped that the NGOs would heed the government’s advice.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented. It is colour blind and even doctors have succumbed to the disease.”