49  persons quarantined in Tawi-tawi upon arrival from Sabah are Filipinos

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 March) – The 49 persons who arrived in South Ubian, Tawi-tawi from Sabah on Friday and placed under a two-week quarantine there are not Malaysians but Filipinos from that town, the Malaysian Consul-General in this city said.

A MindaNews report on March 20 said 49 individuals from Sabah, Malaysia were held and placed under a two-week quarantine in Tawi-Tawi as the Inter-Agency Taks Force (IATF) on COVID-19  in the province intensified its campaign to prevent the spread of the novel  coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Main avenue, Sitangkai in Tawi-tawi. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

The 49 who were on board MV Nordiana from Sabah, were apprehended in South Ubian. They were designated as Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) and were to be housed in one building during the quarantine period.

In an e-mail to MindaNews Nur Harun, Consul General of Malaysia in Davao City, clarified that the 49 were not Malaysian citizens but residents of Tabawan, South Ubian who recently traveled from Sandakan in Sabah, Malaysia.

Harun said he received the confirmation from the Philipine National Police In South Ubian.

South Ubian Mayor Arcaf Matba had earlier said the local government will provide food and accommodation for the 49.

As of Friday, Tawi-Tawi had no confirmed COVID-19 case. But it placed under quaranting 498 persons who returned to the province from Sabah and Metro Manila.

Both areas have been badly hit by COVID-19 infection.

COVID-19 cases in Malayisa, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines, among others,

A Tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling, Selangor in Malaysia on February 27 to March had been confirmed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health as one of the sources of COVID-19.

As of Saturday, March 21, Malaysia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 1,183, more than half of that traced to the Tabligh gathering.

As of Sunday noon, the Philippines had 380 confirmed COVID-19 cases.   (MindaNews)