Daily routines halted for residents in Kota Setar


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 Sep 2020

One of the 7 police roadblocks at Alor Setar North Toll Plaza in Alor Setar, Kedah. -Eric Tan

ALOR SETAR: Daily life has been temporarily disrupted for residents in Kota Setar after the district was placed under administrative enhanced movement control order (MCO) until Sept 25 following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Retired government servant M. Krishnan, 57, from Pantai Johor, is not shocked, however, that the district was put under the order.

“I monitor the news daily and foresee that it will get worse each day. I will be staying at home during the 14-day lockdown as required. I’ve already stocked up on extra food,” he said.

Abdul Ghani Mansor, 35, a wireman from Taman Lam Sun, said he was told by his boss to stay at home on the first day of the enhanced MCO and to wait for further instructions.

“We are in the midst of carrying out wiring installation works on two shoplots in Gurun. It requires us to apply for permission to leave the Kota Setar district to go to Gurun to carry out the work.

“My boss told me that many people are applying for the letter at the police station so it will take a day or two to get one for the four of us before we can resume work. I am presently resting at home and watching TV,” he said.

Sharing the same sentiment was housewife Catherine Chin, 42, from Anak Bukit, whose two young children had to stay at home as schools and daycare centres were closed.

Seven roadblocks were set up by the Kota Setar district police after the area was ordered to be placed under a 14-day enhanced MCO beginning yesterday.

Kota Setar deputy OCPD Supt Mohamed Redzuan Salleh said roadblocks were set up along the main road in Simpang Empat, Jalan Batas Paip in Kuala Kedah, in front of the Alor Janggus police station, Alor Setar North toll plaza, Alor Setar South toll plaza, in front of the Kepala Batas police station and Jalan Hutan Kampung.

“The roadblocks will be manned by 350 personnel, including those from the armed forces. Twenty-one police monitoring teams working in shifts will be deployed to ensure compliance.

“Three important entrances – from Jitra to Alor Setar in Kepala Batas, as well as the Alor Setar North toll plaza entrance and the Alor Setar South toll plaza exit – are closed to vehicles,” he said.

“Vehicles travelling on the highway to Alor Setar will be diverted and allowed to enter the district through the Alor Setar North toll plaza and vehicles leaving the district must go through the Alor Setar South toll plaza.

“As usual, when the main road is blocked, locals will use small trails to exit the district. The monitoring team, together with the mobile motorcycle patrol unit, will be taking care of those trails.”

Supt Redzuan said those living in Kota Setar but working outside were advised to get permission from the police before leaving the area.

“Mass gatherings will not be permitted during the enhanced MCO period,” he told reporters at the Kepala Batas police station yesterday.

The enhanced MCO in Kota Setar involves 366,787 residents.

Supt Redzuan said those who violated the rules of the order would be compounded or faced arrest if the offence was a serious one.

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