‘Relocate testing centre from residential area’

People queuing up to get assessed at a CAC located in the sports hall in Taman Sri Andalas, Klang. – KK SHAM/The Star

KOTA Raja MP Mohamad Sabu wants a Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC), that has been operating in a sports hall in Taman Sri Andalas, Klang since Monday, to be relocated immediately.

He said he has written a letter to Klang District Office objecting to the CAC being housed at the premises as it was in a residential area.

He questioned why he was not informed of the CAC location until it was fully operational, adding that those living in the area also had a right to know since the centre was in their neighbourhood.

Copies of the letter were also sent to the Klang Municipal Council (MPK) and Klang district health office (PKD).

There was an outcry from residents on Monday.

They were uneasy that Covid-19 positive patients, who had come to assess their health status at the centre, could spread the disease.

Residents panicked upon seeing a long line of people queuing up outside their houses as they waited their turn to be tested at the centre.

Taman Sri Andalas Phase 7 Residents Association chairman Saijan Sikon said although the situation was under control after the initial outcry and panic, residents were still unhappy and wanted it to be relocated.

“It is a poor decision to have the CAC in a sports hall which is surrounded by houses,” he added.

“There was a lack of safety coordination on Monday when those who came to the CAC for assessment were queuing outside our homes, many of whom were with senior citizens and young children.

“The residents wanted to help them but feared that they might get infected.

“However, despite the situation improving in the last two days, with entrances to the residential neighbourhood being barricaded and police managing the crowd, we stand firm that the CAC should be moved to a non-residential area,” he said.

Saijan, who is also chairman for Surau An Naim, located just 50m from the hall, said the surau had to be temporarily closed.

“As the CAC is so near the surau, I have asked committee members to shut it down as a precautionary measure to stop the potential spread of the virus,” he said.

Sentosa assemblyman Gunaraj George said the hall was converted to a CAC because the existing PKD in Bandar Botanic was overwhelmed with people.

“People at the PKD have to line up on the road to be assessed and there is a dire need of an additional location to support the increasing demand to assess patients.

“MPK allowed the sports hall to be used as a CAC as it was air-conditioned,” he said.

Gunaraj suggested using the Pandamaran Sports Complex in Port Klang, which is currently being used as a vaccination centre.

“When there are more private locations being set up as vaccination centres in Klang, the sports complex can be converted into a CAC.

“I would also urge PKD to include councillors and people’s representatives on this matter,” he said.

MPK councillor Abdul Mutalib Adam said residents and the assemblyman of the area were not consulted prior to the sports hall being converted to a CAC.

“The CAC being in the middle of a residential area has caused unnecessary panic among residents.

“It should be relocated as soon as possible.

“We have suggested several locations for the centre, one of it being Kota Raja Stadium, which is located away from residential neighbourhoods,” he said.

Sungai Kandis state assemblyman Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni said PKD and the relevant authorities would monitor the situation at Dewan Sukan Klang.

“At the moment, we have identified two halls in Port Klang and Ambang Botanic as a CAC alternative, as both are situated away from the community.

“The CAC at the sports hall will stay for one or two weeks and a Klang district officer and PKD will assess the situation if there is a need for it to be relocated,” he said.

Mohd Zawawi added that vaccination appointments for residents in the neighbourhood, who have yet to receive their first shot, would be expedited.

“It is only for those who have not received a vaccination appointment yet and the exercise will be conducted by Klang PKD,” he said.

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