EMCO has woman in jitters


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 28 Mar 2020

SIMPANG RENGGAM: Housewife Siti Noor Sepee could not sleep for most of the night, worried sick about her parents following the government’s decision to impose the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) at Kampung Datuk Ibrahim Majid and Bandar Baharu Datuk Ibrahim Majid here.

The 37-year-old mother of three said her parents were staying by themselves in Taman Harmoni, not far from the two “isolated” villages.

“When the news spread, I quickly called up my father, who is unwell. My mother also just suffered from a stroke,” she said.

Siti Noor said her two other siblings were staying in Gelang Patah and Kulai.

With the implementation of the EMCO there and the MCO nationwide, she said it was difficult for them to visit their parents.

“I had to call up their neighbours to help look after them. I also reminded my father not to go out at all.

“Once all this is over, I will bring them to stay with me,” she said.

Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, meanwhile, urged the villagers to remain calm and give their full cooperation to the authorities.

“I hope the villagers do not panic. They should help the authorities in preventing the Covid-19 virus from spreading to other areas,” His Majesty said in a statement posted on his official Facebook page.

On Thursday, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the EMCO, which would last until April 9, was carried out following the advice of the Health Ministry.

Ismail Sabri said the move was to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further and to enable the authorities to carry out house-to-house tracing.

Kampung Datuk Ibrahim Majid village chief Sarlan Yasmin said many villagers were taken aback at the EMCO order.

He said at least three villagers were known to have attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque but they had undergone health screenings.

“There was a wedding in the village on March 15 with 500 villagers attending but the ceremony was held three days before the MCO.

“I have never experienced this situation before. We cannot do anything about it but to follow the advice of the authorities,” he said.

Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad has given his assurance that basic necessities such as food will be supplied to all 3,570 affected villagers.

Hasni said the supplies would be channelled by the Welfare Department throughout the period.

“Having the EMCO will allow the authorities to conduct tracing from house to house in an effort to curb the disease,” he said in a statement.

State Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said that following the order, several steps would be taken, including having police and army manning roadblocks at all entry and exit points, as well as major roads within Simpang Renggam-Benut and Simpang Renggam-Kluang.

He said Civil Defence Force and Rela personnel would help guard the whole area as the local folk were not allowed to leave their homes during the period.

Vidyananthan said non-local residents and visitors were not allowed to enter the two affected areas while a more stricter home surveillance by security personnel would be carried out.

“All business activities will be stopped while mosques and surau have been closed,” he said, adding that a medical base, which would be equipped with active case detection, would be set up at village public halls.

Those with enquiries should contact the hotline at 07-773 5224 or 07-772 2434.

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