IPOH: Residents in the city here are prepared to face another round of movement control order (MCO) that starts on Friday (Jan 22).
With the growing number of positive Covid-19 cases in the state, many felt that it was only a matter of time that the MCO was implemented again.
Perak Coffeeshop Association chairman Ooi Beng Yeaw said he had expected the MCO, but did not think it would be called about a week later after Perak and few other states were placed under the conditional MCO.
"I can't say I'm surprised as there are more than 120 cases in Ipoh now," he said when contacted Thursday (Jan 21).
"It's a bit of a disappointment but it is necessary to break the Covid-19 chain and stem the rising number of cases.
"We also hope the number of daily cases will go down soon, so we can return to some form of normality," he added.
The whole country, except Sarawak, has been placed under the MCO. Perak, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan were intially placed under the conditional MCO on Jan 13.
Perak, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu and Perlis will begin the MCO on Friday until Feb 4.
Ooi said businesses at most coffeeshops had only just begun to pick up again last month.
He said their revenues are now expected to drop again in the next two weeks.
"As only takeaways are permitted, I expect most businesses will be impacted again."
Ooi added that all coffeeshops would continue to abide by the standard operating procedures as set by the National Security Council.
A hawker, who only wanted to be known as Ibrahim, said like most of his fellow traders, he would have preferred the MCO to not be implemented.
"Our businesses will surely be affected.
"However, we don't have much choice. We just have to do it," said the 47-year-old.
"I just hope that we can continue to get assistance from the government to help us survive the latest MCO," he said.
A personal assistant, who only wanted to be known as Joey, said she already felt "numb" with the various MCOs that had been implemented here.
"I feel there's not been much difference since the conditional MCO last year.
"It was only during the first MCO whereby it was a new experience for everyone," she said.
"People could still drive out for work and to buy food or groceries," she added.
She said it was essential that the people play their respective roles to ensure the virus does not spread.
"For normal people like us, we really need to be disciplined to observe SOP such as wearing our face masks, sanitising our hands and maintaining physical distance.
"For shopowners and traders, they also need to ensure their premises are properly sanitised regularly," she added.
Meanwhile, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad also called on the people to follow the SOP to help lighten the burden on the frontliners.
"With the growing number of cases, the frontliners' task will be more challenging.
"I urge that the people help by following the SOP," he said in a statement after visiting two Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres at the state badminton arena and in Ulu Kinta.
"If the cases drop, the burden on the frontliners will be lightened," he said.
"I am also touched with the commitment by the frontliners who continue to be strong to provide care for patients," he added.
Saarani also called on patients to give each other moral support.
"I understand it is hard to adapt to the new environment at the quarantine centres while being away from their families and anxiously waiting for their test results," he said.
"I hope they can remain strong to face these tough times and never give up," he added.
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