Staying within the boundaries


Tight security: Police, army and Rela personnel manning a roadblock near flats in Jalan Paya Terubong, Penang. — CHAN BOON KAI and ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

RESIDENTS in enhanced movement control order (MCO) areas are advised to strictly abide by the standard operating procedures (SOP) during the lockdown period.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said the enhanced MCO was to ban all in and out movements in the areas, except for three things — emergency, death and medical reasons.

“It is basically a total lockdown where all in and out movements will be monitored closely by security personnel to ensure that the virus will not spread to other places, ” he said.

ACP Soffian said those who work in the essential service sector and live in enhanced MCO areas, like doctors or nurses, are allowed to go to work if their workplace is located within the perimeter of the lockdown area.

Part of Jalan Paya Terubong looking very quiet during the lockdown. Part of Jalan Paya Terubong looking very quiet during the lockdown.

“However, those who work in the essential service sector outside the perimeter of the enhanced MCO area will not be allowed to go beyond the area, ” he said.

“An exception will be made for those providing services which are not available elsewhere.

“For example. specialist doctors who live in the enhanced MCO area are allowed to go out and treat their patients, ” he added.

He added that employees have the right to get unrecorded leave or work from home orders from their employers.

ACP Soffian said residents who want to go out to buy essential items outside the lockdown area would also be allowed if the items they wanted to buy were not available within their area.

Army officers ensuring that the barbed wire temporary fencing is intact outside a block of flats in Paya Terubong, Penang, during the lockdown. Army officers ensuring that the barbed wire temporary fencing is intact outside a block of flats in Paya Terubong, Penang, during the lockdown.

“Only heads of family are allowed to go out.

“They must show valid proof of what they want to buy by showing the item once they finish shopping.

“There is no reason for affected residents to go beyond the enhanced MCO perimeter if the items that they are looking for are available in shops or mini markets within their area.

“My advice is comply with the rules and cooperate with the security on duty during the period, ” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (middle) chatting with residents during a visit to Desa Bistari Apartments in Batu Uban before the lockdown there took effect at midnight on Sunday.Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (middle) chatting with residents during a visit to Desa Bistari Apartments in Batu Uban before the lockdown there took effect at midnight on Sunday.

Two localities where many foreign workers live have been placed under enhanced MCO from Dec 7 until Dec 20.

They are a cluster of flats in Paya Terubong and Desa Bistari Apartments in Batu Uban.

Meanwhile, state local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government, together with the State Secretary’s office, would work hand-in-hand with the state Health Department to disseminate information about the SOP and regulation of the enhanced MCO at the Paya Terubong flats and Desa Bistari Apartments.

He said it was important for the residents to know clearly the do’s and don’ts during the period.

A motorist trying to get past a roadblock in the area. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI and LIM BENG TATT/ The StarA motorist trying to get past a roadblock in the area. — Photos: CHAN BOON KAI and LIM BENG TATT/ The Star

On the latest Covid-19 situation in Penang, Jagdeep said as of Sunday, a total of 36,795 people from 14 active Covid-19 clusters in Penang have been screened.

He said from the 14 clusters, 2,536 cases have been detected.

On the SOP compliance rate in Penang, Jagdeep said as of Saturday, a total of 1.19 million checks have been conducted on Penang island and mainland.

He said Penang Island City Council had checked 486,725 sites and recorded a SOP compliance rate of 99.70%, whereas the mainland recorded a SOP compliance rate of 99.37% after conducting checks on 702,463 premises.

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