GEORGE TOWN: Several roads surrounding the Penang Remand Prison will be closed fully or partially under the enhanced movement control order (MCO).
The whole of Jalan Penjara, a portion of Jalan Berek and a portion of Jalan Lim Khoon Huat will be closed off from 12.01am on Thursday (Oct 15) until 11.59pm on Oct 27.
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George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said three roadblocks and three police checkpoints will be set up in the area to make sure that the public does not enter the restricted areas.
“Schools, places of worship and economic activities in the area will be closed.
“Religious, social, recreational activities are not allowed during the enhanced MCO.
“A total of 610 prison staff including 220 staff members and their families, who live on their own, will be quarantined in the area during the enhanced MCO.
“There are 2,298 inmates in the Penang Remand Prison, seven staff quarters with 117 units and eight prison officials’ houses, ” he said in a press conference at the George Town district police headquarters in Patani Road on Wednesday (Oct 14).
The area covers a perimeter of 1.37km and an area of 53,621 sq metres.
ACP Soffian added that 158 officers and personnel will be involved in the roadblocks during the enhanced MCO.
“A total of 98 Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) personnel, 18 army personnel, 24 Rela personnel and 18 Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel will be deployed to help out at the roadblocks.
“We urge the public not to panic and stay calm.
“The enhanced MCO only involves the Penang Remand Prison and the staff quarters and not the whole northeast district as claimed.
“We urge those involved to follow strictly the standard operating procedures (SOP)s and not leave the area except for any emergencies.
“We also urge the public not to spread inaccurate information on social media or WhatsApp groups, ” he said.
On Tuesday (Oct 13), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that Penang Remand Prison and the prison officers’ quarters will be placed under an enhanced MCO.
The prison authorities on Oct 12 (Monday) declared that enhanced MCO was imposed on the blocks where inmates tested positive for Covid-19.
This resulted in the tightening of SOPs such as the prohibition of physical movement in and out of the prison and conditional entry and exit for staff and wardens.
Visits by family members, embassy lawyers, NGOs and outsiders to the prison are also not allowed throughout the period.
On Monday (Oct 12) only, 141 Covid-19 positive cases were found among inmates in the prison.
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Meanwhile, about 2,000 inmates at Seberang Prai prison will have to undergo Covid-19 screening after three of them were infected on Tuesday (Oct 13).