‘Give us earlier notice’

A resident outside Flat Desa Pandan pulling a trolley filled with essentials that she may need during the EMCO until July 16.

FOURTEEN neighbourhoods in Kuala Lumpur are among those placed under enhanced movement control order from today until July 16. Of the number, eight areas are high-rise flats that have a high population density.

Some of the residents in these areas live in cramped conditions.

So, most of them were not surprised when the enhanced MCO was imposed as they heard talk of the action to be taken after the increasing number of Covid-19 cases at their residence.

Although they suspected this would happen, residents interviewed by StarMetro had hoped the authorities would give them more time to get prepared before imposing the enhanced restrictions.

Kerinchi People’s Housing Project (PPR) resident Melati Ahmad said she needed time to stock up on groceries and essentials.

Melati, who works as a secretary in Bangsar, said she had to take time off from work yesterday to buy the things in a hurry and found the shops crowded with people shopping in a panic.

Flat Sri Sabah resident, who only wanted to be known as Salmah, was annoyed that they did not have more time to deal with important decisions like this.

“As a mother of five, I have to run around to get things prepared for the lockdown,” she said, adding that she hated to rush as she tended to forget things.

Among areas under EMCO in Kuala Lumpur are PPR Seri Semarak, PPR Batu Muda, PPR Kampung Baru Air Panas, PPR Kerinchi, Flat Seksyen 2 and Flat Seksyen 1 Wangsa Maju, Flat Sri Sabah, Bandar Baru Sentul, Taman Ikan Emas, Kampung Batu Muda, Kampung Padang Balang, Taman Koperasi Polis (Phase 1 and 2) and Kampung Puah and Flat Desa Pandan.

“I am disappointed too (about the restrictions) but we have to move on and work together to get through this,’’ said PPR Seri Semarak resident Abdul Rahman Mohamad.

He said that when he got the news, he was not at all surprised as the cases in the PPR were increasing.

He is also Setiawangsa sub-zone 6 chairman of the Federal Territories Residential Representative Council.

He said the residents committee had worked hard to keep the virus at bay by sanitising and disinfecting common areas and lifts twice a day.

He said that 1,800 of Seri Semarak residents were vaccinated recently under the MyMedic@Wilayah Mobile Truck initiative by Federal Territories Ministry.

“So this lockdown is a sad situation, but we have to do whatever it takes to beat the virus,’’ he added.

Many community heads living in PPRs and other flats in the city said they were told verbally about the impending lockdown four days ago but there was no official announcement.

Flats Sri Sabah Residents Association chairman Zainal Abidin Abdul Wahab said he received many calls from panicked residents and had to reassure them.

He, however, said residents had no one to blame but themselves as they did not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) strictly.

“We try our best to follow the SOP, but sometimes a simple act like getting into a crowded lift can trigger something.

“Signage placed outside lift areas say only five to six people are allowed, but everyone will rush in and cram into the lift,’’ he said.

A PPR Kampung Baru Air Panas resident, who declined to be named, said it was typical to see children and their parents congregating in common areas.

“I have even seen some chatting with each other without their masks on.

“And their actions have possibly caused all of us to be placed under a lockdown,” he said.

At Desa Rejang Public Housing flats in Setapak, some 16,000 residents have just come out of a two-week lockdown that ended on July 1.

Its residents association chairman Mohd Noor Md Tahir urged residents to remain cautious as there were still cases within the community.

“If residents do not increase their vigilance, I will not be surprised if we are placed under a second lockdown,” he said.

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