Dam reopens after closure due to big crowds

THE Mengkuang Dam in Bukit Mertajam on Penang mainland reopens as a green recreation area to the public from 7am today.

However, only visitors who show that they are “fully vaccinated” and carry a “safe” risk status in the MySejahtera app would be allowed to enter the dam premises, said Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa.

“In this context, ‘fully vaccinated’ status means a person has received two vaccination injections, and 14 days have passed since the second injection.

“A person’s ‘fully vaccinated’ status is shown in his or her MySejahtera app’s ‘Check-in’ page.

“This new rule is also applicable to all potential visitors to the other public recreation areas managed by PBAPP in Penang - Ayer Itam Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam and Bukit Dumbar Park,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Jaseni said PBAPP auxiliary police personnel would ask all potential visitors to show a “fully vaccinated” status on their mobile devices prior to every entry, adding that they would be denied entry if they failed to do so.

Only persons with “safe” risk statuses, where their status on the MySejahtera app showed “Low Risk” or “Casual Contact”, would be allowed to enter the premises.

Any visitors with “unsafe” statuses, such as “Close Contact”, “Person Under Surveillance (PUS)”, “Suspected Case” or “Confirmed Case - Asymptomatic”, should not attempt to visit any of the premises, he said.

PBAPP’s other safety rules and regulations at its recreational areas include limiting the maximum number of visitors to 200 persons at any one time while it is 350 persons at any one time for the Mengkuang Dam.

Also required is mandatory registration using the MySejahtera app, and individual temperature scanning at entry points.

Those with a reading of 37.5ºC and above will be not allowed to enter.

“Individuals who are 17 years old and below are only allowed to enter the dam area with their parent(s); with the condition that the parent(s) are fully vaccinated.”

He said visitors must comply with the physical distancing of 3m to 5m.

Activities which may cause large gathering of people leading to difficulty in physical distancing are strictly prohibited.

“As far as possible, PBAPP intends to provide the people of Penang with access to refreshing recreational facilities.

“However, if these facilities are ‘shut down’ by the authorities, we cannot allow the public to enter.

“As such, if you are a public visitor, please make good use of our recreation facilities safely and responsibly,” added Jaseni.The Mengkuang Dam, Ayer Itam Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam and Bukit Dumbar Park will be open from 7am to 7pm daily.

It was reported on Sept 16 that the Mengkuang Dam was ordered to shut for seven days as a preventive measure against Covid-19 after drawing a large crowd over the weekend.

Jaseni had said the dam’s temporary closure was to prevent a further spike in cases.

The large crowd was seen queuing up at Mengkuang Dam’s car park while waiting to enter the site of the dam.

On Sept 15, at least 18 compounds were believed to have been issued by health authorities who arrived to inspect the dam.

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