Man stopped from jogging by Penang city council workers question ‘stay at home’ directive

  • Nation
  • Friday, 20 Mar 2020

GEORGE TOWN: A man stopped by Penang Island City Council enforcers for jogging in City Park here has questioned if the government and its officers are aware that the movement control order (MCO) was to prevent crowding, and not force people to stay indoors.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Ong Hean Teik, who was caught in a four-minute video clip arguing with council workers on Thursday (March 19), said the MCO is not an indoor curfew.

“It was designed to control public movement to avoid crowding and to ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Incorrect understanding and misinterpretation of the order can lead to undesirable outcomes and increase the chance of Covid-19 spread.

“Public parks are closed, and I was severely reprimanded by three MBPP officers while walking out of Taman Belia, although I was walking alone.

“Press reports similarly show police stopping people from walking on the beach or seaside promenades, even though they are not close to each other.

“Can the government and its officers remember that the MCO is meant to prevent crowding, not to force people indoors?

“To reduce Covid-19 transmission, we must have social distancing, obey the MCO, but behave intelligently.

“This is so as not to make life so stressful and sedentary that resistance drops, and virus transmission increases, ” he said in a statement on Friday (March 20).

He added that the hot and humid climate found outdoors in Malaysia is the environment that best kills the virus.

“We do not want people to be crowded together, but confining people inside the house, perhaps with the air conditioner on, cannot be healthy.

“Private companies and institutions should similarly not adopt illogical and perhaps illegal new rules that do nothing to reduce social crowding, ” he said.

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Ong Hean Teik , Covid-19 , MCO


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