Folk call for mass screening in their area

WORRIED over the rise of Covid-19 cases in their area, residents of Taman Pelangi Flats in Prai, Penang, are hoping for mass screening to be carried out in the neighbourhood.

Taman Pelangi management committee chairman (Blocks A to H) Tan Chai Liang said more than 100 Covid-19 cases were reported in the area last month.

He added that 79 cases were reported a few days ago.

“We have reached out to the state assemblyman to hold a mass screening programme for us.

“However, we have not heard from his side so far.

“We are one of the four management committees here in Taman Pelangi and we are deeply concerned about the rising number of cases here.

“Taman Pelangi is a hotspot as it houses many factory workers, mainly foreigners,” he said.

The scheme has four management committees which took over from PDC in 2015.

More than 3,000 residents live in its 23 blocks near the Juru industrial area on the Penang mainland. There are 1,720 units.

The area is just 2.5km away from the Taman Nagasari neighbourhood,which was placed under a 14-day enhanced movement control order that ended on July 17.

The neighbourhood was in the news on Tuesday.

Some 200 people had allegedly performed Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers outside a surau after being barred from entering as the limit for people allowed inside the surau had been reached.

They then reportedly gathered to perform their prayers on the road in front of the surau near the flats in Auto City, Juru.

Forty-nine people who were suspected of being part of the congregation have since been remanded to facilitate investigations.

Bukit Tengah assemblyman Gooi Hsiao Leung said the Penang mainland as a whole was an industrial area with many factories and foreign workers.

“When the pandemic broke out last year, I voiced the need for mass screening for all foreign workers,” he said.

“It was eventually carried out last year, with collaboration between the state and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.

“Since the state has its own Penang Saring Covid-19 (PSC-19) programme, I encourage everyone to make use of the free screening.

“Those who have recently been to high-risk places are encouraged to get tested.

“All they have to do is register and go for the screening.”

Gooi said mass testing would be one of the aspects in dealing with the pandemic.

“More importantly, we must follow the standard operating procedures and the key to winning this battle is getting all the people vaccinated.

“All these things must be done in tandem.”

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