Malaysian decides to walk 120km home just in case he has Covid-19, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysian decides to walk 120km home just in case he has Covid-19

This article is more than 12 months old

KOTA KINABALU: The story of a Malaysian man walking three days from Kota Kinabalu to his hometown of Kota Marudu located some 120km away with a companion dog has gone viral.

Mr Alixson Mangundok, 34, had just returned from Japan, where he worked on March 25. Fearing he might carry the coronavirus, he chose not to take any public transport or get his family to pick him up.

"After reaching Kota Kinabalu International Airport, I was screened and although the health officials said I was fine and did not show any symptoms of the virus, I was still asked to go to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a more thorough screening," he said.

After giving his samples at the hospital, the doctor told him he could undergo self-quarantine at home and he was not required to check into the state-provided quarantine centres while waiting for his Covid-19 test results.

"To avoid any risk to anyone, I decided to walk all the way to Kota Marudu because I am used to walking for kilometers and days from my time hunting and farming," he said.

Soon after he set out on his journey, a dog started tagging along. He eventually named the dog Hachiko - after the Japanese Akita dog known for its loyalty.

"I thought it would leave me halfway through, but it stayed with me the whole way, that is why I decided to adopt Hachiko," Mr Mangundok said.

Along the way, they rested at bus stops and passed by a number of roadblocks.

"The policemen would ask where I was going, and when I told them I was headed to Kota Marudu, they could not believe it. Eventually, I convinced them I was not joking," he said.

On the morning of March 28, his family got word of where he was. They were worried as they could not contact him because Mr Mangundok's phone had run out of power.

His family drove out and left a car nearby so he could drive home by himself and take his new companion with him.

"I did not go see my parents upon reaching Kota Marudu but went straight to a small hut on the farm because it would be safer for everyone," he said.

His first test came back negative and he is waiting for the results of the second test. - THE STAR