Covid-19: ‘Ghost town’ feel around Seberang Prai prison

Seberang Prai Prison Complex and its quarters under enhanced movement control order. -Chan Boon Kai/The Star

NIBONG TEBAL: The areas surrounding Seberang Prai Prison Complex and its quarters bore an air of desolation on the first day of enhanced movement control order (MCO).

The roads that pass through the complex, normally used by vehicles as a shortcut to Kedah, were left deserted, with only few cars and lorries passing through on Thursday (Oct 22).

Two police roadblocks could be seen at the entrance of the prison complex and the living quarters building.

Seberang Prai Prison director Zulkifli Abdul Manah said he has instructed his officers and staff to strictly follow the standard operating procedure at the prison to break the chain of Covid-19 infections.

"It is important for all personnel in the prison to adhere to the SOP as advised by the government," he said.

On Wednesday (Oct 21) Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Seberang Prai prison and its staff quarters would be put under an enhanced MCO from Thursday (Oct 22) to Nov 4.

He said the decision was agreed on by the National Security Council (NSC) following the spike of Covid-19 positive cases within the cluster in the Seberang Prai Prison and its staff quarters at Sungai Jawi, in the Seberang Prai Selatan district, Penang.

A total of 3,262 individuals are involved, consisting of 2,110 prisoners, 1,000 prison staff and families staying in the quarters, 120 prison staff not staying at the quarters, as well as 32 public servants.

As of Wednesday, 92 inmates and three prison staff had tested positive for Covid-19.

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