Bracing for improved MCO | The star


RESIDENTS in 13 localities in Bayan Lepas, Penang, which is under the Reinforced Movement Control (MCO) order from today until June 17, are preparing for a strict restriction on movement.

The improved MCO was imposed after 83 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the region in the past two weeks. The total number of positive cases has exceeded 250.

Residents alarmed by the surge in cases stocked up on essential household items.

Retiree Din Ismail, 66, who lives in the Bayu Nyaman apartments, said he and his wife had stocked up on food for two weeks.

“There are eight people in my house, including my children and grandchildren, so we are taking no chances.

“While one person from every household can go out to buy, my children are working and I cannot run all the time,” he lamented.

A woman looks at the nearly empty shelf usually filled with rolls and bread at a convenience store in the area marked for improved MCO in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Din, who runs a coffee stand under his apartments, said that last year people had suffered multiple OLS and were ready to face any eventuality.

Resident Jaan Sajkhan Abdul Kadir, 42, however, is worried about his 64-year-old mother who has to go for her kidney dialysis.

“I take him to the dialysis center three times a week and worry if it will be possible for me to do so during the improved OLS,” he said.

Jaan, who renovates homes, said his business had been badly affected due to the lockdown and the MCO upgrade.

Ramli Khamis, who sells seafood next to a mini-market at Sri Bayu Apartments, is worried about whether his suppliers might come to the area to deliver the seafood.

“There is no clear picture of how the improved MCO is going to affect our business, but I will continue one way or another because it is a matter of survival,” he said. declared.

Rohana Idris, 42, and her daughter who was seen carrying several bags of food and fresh and dried vegetables, said the groceries were for her family for the next two weeks as she cannot make it to her workplace in Bayan Lepas due to improved MCO.

Santhi with her granddaughter Rhyaa sorting out the food and fresh vegetables she has stored.Santhi with her granddaughter Rhyaa sorting out the food and fresh vegetables she has stored.

Housewife M. Santhi, 55, and her husband N. Krishnamoorthy, 60, said they started to stock up on food after hearing about the high number of cases in the area.

“There used to be a famous pasar malam right at the back of our house every Saturday, but it hasn’t been working for several weeks now.

“We had a hunch that the place would be under an improved MCO and we are not going to go out but stay inside because it is the best and safest thing to do,” said Santhi.

Bayan Lepas’ congregation member Azrul Mahathir Aziz was seen patrolling the area and helping distribute food packages to affected residents.

Azrul said it came as a shock to the population when Imam of Masjid Alhidayah in Bayan Lepas, Ramli Ismail, 67, died yesterday morning in Penang hospital after contracting Covid-19.

It was earlier reported that the mosque guard, also 67, collapsed and died on May 22 while seeking treatment for fever at the neighborhood clinic.

The man, who was single, lived with his family but reportedly had a fever before Hari Raya Aidilfitri. He did not know he had contracted Covid-19.

Widely shared photos of healthcare workers in full personal protective gear removing the body and disinfecting the clinic had caused a stir on social media.

Meanwhile, Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik said he was troubled by reports of many factory workers leaving the area before the improved MCO came into effect.

“I’ve heard that some factories pull out and put their workers in different neighborhoods, allowing them to report to work as usual.

“This should not happen, because people in this area are not allowed to move and I am waiting for the comments of the police,” he said.

The areas affected by improved OLS are Kampung Bukit, Kampung Perlis, Kampung Masjid, Jalan Mahkamah, Kampung Pak Lah, Lebuh Kampung Bukit Sri Bayu, Bayan Tiara, Halaman Murni, Bayan Permai, Bayan Tiara and Taman Ara Indah.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said on Wednesday that screenings carried out among close contacts showed an infectivity rate of 19.6% while tests in the community showed an infectivity rate of 10.7%, which means that at least one in 10 community members could get infected.

Residents of the enhanced MCO who need assistance can call the Southwest District Police Control Center (04-8664122), the Southwest District Land Department (04-8689400), or the Southwest District Health Department. Southwest District (04-8668357).

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