A FEW public parks are closed to visitors following the upward trend in the number Covid-19 cases being reported in the country.
First to make the announcement was Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).
FRIM issued a statement via social media platforms on Oct 4 that Taman Botani Kepong, Taman Warisan and Forest Skywalk would be closed to visitors beginning Oct 5, indefinitely.
It explained that the decision was a precautionary measure to protect its staff and visitors from contracting Covid-19, as the rise of cases in the country and Selangor was worrying.
However FRIM, in the statement, said its decision would be reviewed based on reports and information by the Health Ministry.
FRIM director-general Dr Khali Aziz Hamzah said the decision to close its attractions to visitors was the responsible thing to do.
“FRIM will always prioritise the safety of all parties and every decision made, especially now, will be based on that reason although it may disappoint certain quarters, ” he said.
The Peninsular Forestry Department also announced on Facebook yesterday that Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park had closed its doors to visitors from Oct 5 until further notice. It said that precautionary measures were necessary in the wake of the number of Covid-19 cases locally.
When contacted, Forest Eco-Park and State Park Forest director Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop said there were 128 forests under its jurisdiction but the decision was made to close Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park because it attracted a huge turnout of visitors, daily.
“Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park sees an average of 500 visitors on weekdays and between 1,000 and 1,500 daily on weekends. Due to the large number of visitors, we have decided to take pre-emptive measures and close the park to ensure visitors’ safety, ” he said.
The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) also announced the closure of Paya Indah Wetland in Selangor; Taman Negara in Kelantan, Pulau Pinang, Terengganu and Pahang (both in Merapoh and Kuala Tahan) on social media from Oct 5.
More areas in Pahang that are shut include the National Elephant Conservation Centre, Ramsar (Mangrove) Site at Tasik Bera, Wildlife Conservation Centre and Wildlife Rescue Centre.
Meanwhile, Broga Hill in Selangor which was ordered by the Health Ministry to be shut down from June 27, in accordance with the Section 18 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 after the hiking spot was packed with visitors, is still closed.