Penang orders six million face masks for frontliners, public

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the masks will arrive in batches. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the masks will arrive in batches. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, March 24 ― The Penang state government has ordered six million face masks to be distributed to frontline personnel and the needy.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the masks will arrive in batches.

“The face masks will be distributed once we receive it in stages and priority will be given to frontliners and those who need it,” he said during his daily message on his Facebook today.

He said the state government will also provide an update on the supply of essential items such as thermometers and hand sanitisers.

“Today the state government is also distributing thousands of hand sanitisers and infrared thermometers to our two city councils and our security teams at the frontlines,” he said.

He assured those with special needs and senior citizens living alone that they have not been forgotten and the state government will mobilise volunteers to distribute food and supplies to these groups.

As for assistance to those affected by the movement control order (MCO), Chow said Penang was one of the first states to announce an aid package of RM20 million.

“I will present the further details of this aid package tomorrow after my state executive council meeting,” he said.

Chow said the prime minister has announced allocations for all states to assist the people affected by the MCO and the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“We believe we will receive RM10 million from the allocation and at this stage, we will use this funds to support the Penang health department so that they have full equipment and supplies so that they are better equipped to fight the pandemic and treat Covid-19 patients,” he said.

He said the state will look into helping public hospitals in Penang prepare sufficient intensive care units (ICU) that may be needed in future.

Chow also responded to concerns raised over the thousands of devotees who attended the Masi Magam Theppa Thirunal (Floating Chariot Festival) at the Sri Singamuga Kaliamman Temple on March 8.

“The health department conducted investigation into those who attended the event and found that there were no cases related to the event,” he said.

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