Penang island council forms squad to enforce Movement Control Order

Penang Island City Council enforcement officers conduct spotchecks on pubs and eateries in George Town March 19, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Island City Council enforcement officers conduct spotchecks on pubs and eateries in George Town March 19, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, March 19 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has set up a special squad that patrol daily to enforce the federal government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said 50 enforcement officers divided into six teams will patrol the entire island throughout each day.

“They will be going around from morning till midnight each day and visiting all premises to ensure non-essential businesses remain closed until March 31,” he said after chairing a briefing session on the special squad with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.

Yew said the officers will advise the public to stay indoors and ensure social distancing is practised at premises providing essential services such as sundry shops and food and beverage outlets.

“They will check all food outlets and restaurants to make sure these places are only providing takeaway and delivery services,” he said.

He added that the special squad will meet daily at its command centre in Komtar to update, plan, monitor and act in accordance with the daily situation.

The officers on the ground will patrol in six 4x4 vehicles and six motorcycles.

According to Jagdeep, MBPP started checking business premises yesterday to ensure that they are adhering to the MCO.

“As of last night, a total 253 notices were issued to traders, food outlets, night markets and businesses under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988,” he said.

He said most of the businesses have complied with the notices and that the city council will continue to monitor the situation for these two weeks.

Malaysia is in its second day of a two-week movement control order enforced to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was forced to address the nation again last night and plead with Malaysians to stay at home in order for the shutdown to have a chance of containing Covid-19 locally.

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