KOTA KINABALU: The 69 residents of Kampung Pondo, Pulau Gaya, near here, are being tracked down after fleeing the area to avoid the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), said Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

Masidi, who is also the Sabah government COVID-19 spokesman, said efforts to track all the individuals involved were being conducted by members of the Pulau Gaya police station.

"The residents are believed to have escaped while on to way to the COVID-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centre.

"Therefore, the Sabah government urges those who fled from the EMCO area in Kampung Pondo, Pulau Gaya, to return to the village immediately to ensure they do not infect other communities," he said in a statement last night.

He said failure to do so would mean that action would be taken against them under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Areas) (Movement Control) (No 4) (Amendment) (No 16) Regulations 2021.

Masidi also urged the public to inform the police if they have any information about those who fled the area.

Kampung Pondo, Pulau Gaya, is among the localities in Sabah that has been placed under the EMCO from June 30 to July 13 due to a rise in COVID-19 infections in the area.

Following that, the Sabah government agreed today to expand the EMCO enforcement to cover the entire village in Pulau Gaya effective July 8.

Commenting on the COVID-19 development in the state, Masidi said 225 new cases were recorded today, bringing the total number of cases to 70,495.

A new cluster was also reported in Kota Kinabalu, namely the Agora Borneo cluster, while one death was recorded in Tawau.

A total of 199 patients recovered today, bringing the total number of recoveries to 68,308 while 1,672 patients are still receiving treatment, he said.