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File picture of a man wearing a face mask shopping for groceries at the Village Grocer at Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur January 9, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
File picture of a man wearing a face mask shopping for groceries at the Village Grocer at Mid Valley in Kuala Lumpur January 9, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KOTA KINABALU, Aug 13 — The Sabah government is giving a grace period of one month to supermarkets and eateries offering dine-in to comply with the new vaccination ruling.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state government was aware of the issues faced by many proprietors in these two sectors and was allowing one month for them to get their staff vaccinated so they can operate.

“The new SOP for dine-in and supermarkets ‘educates and reminds’ the public. It is not a punitive move. We hope that those working in the sector can complete their vaccine doses in a month’s time.

“Full enforcement will begin after that,” he said, adding that one month was a reasonable amount of time given that walk-in inoculations were now readily available.

“For workers and staff of supermarkets, eateries and hotels around the state capital, they can come to the Sabah International Convention Centre to get vaccinated,” he said.

The massive vaccination centre can accommodate up to 8,000 jabs daily.

Masidi said that the high number of cases each day was a reminder that the state had to take action to curb the further spread of Covid-19.

“The tightening of SOPs on our eateries and supermarkets is our way of trying to provide a safer and healthy environment to allow daily business. We think this will lower the risk of further spread in these places where people frequent,” he said.

Sabah’s National Security Council released new guidelines yesterday dictating that dine-in operations and supermarkets must ensure all staff and customers are vaccinated as well as fall in the low-risk category before they can enter their premises.

Sabah had already been allowing dine-in operations since June 29, but cases have since shot up to record-breaking numbers.

Today Sabah recorded 1,654 new cases today, after yesterday’s record breaking 2,052.

To counter that, the state is focusing on ramping up its vaccination and has allowed government-linked companies (GLCs) and the private sector to purchase vaccines, as well as allowing walk-in jabs and increasing the number of jabs by the government’s vaccination programme.

The state administered 55,237 jabs yesterday and 54,091 today. Some 519,000 people or about 20 per cent of the state’s 2.9 million target have received both doses of the vaccine so far.

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