KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Residents and the management of Menara City One here insisted today that the crowds formed for a sudden coronavirus disease (Covid-19) screening yesterday were created by authorities’ demand for them to come down all at once.
In a statement disputing Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah who said earlier today that some residents went down without being called, they maintained that authorities ordered them to gather despite calls for the testing to be done in sections.
The residents and management also asserted this was the second time the authorities have created unnecessary crowds that went against official guidelines for social distancing.
“Despite the repeated pleas, requests and demands made by the MC and the building management on staggered, floor by floor/ unit by unit screening coordination, the chaotic screening session had happened twice.
“We denied there was massive number of block B residents who came for 24 April 2020 intended screening for Block A, as mentioned by DG of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in his press conference today,” they said in a statement.
They further alleged that the authorities’ actions resulted in hundreds of residents of various ages crowding together with individuals who were likely at high risk of Covid-19 either because of close contact with confirmed patients or previous travel history.
They then demanded that health authorities be clear in the future if further testing is required, such as by stating who must be tested and when.
Health authorities should also be open to accepting the assistance offered by the residents committee and management to prepare the needed facilities and coordinate matters.
Alternatively, health workers should consider going door-to-door to take the test samples, the group said when pointing out that residents did not have the personal protective equipment as the medical workers performing the screening.
“Lastly, we would like to point out containing the spread of diseases can never be successful without support from the general public.
This support would be gladly provided if we acknowledge areas where we can assist each other,” the group said.
Yesterday, videos of Menara City One residents descending en mass and in close proximity to the ground level for testing were uploaded online.
Dr Noor Hisham said this afternoon that the crowds were caused by residents of Tower B heading down when authorities asked those in Tower A to present themselves for screening.
The residential building was the first in the city to be put under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) after a Covid-19 cluster was detected there.
Since then, authorities have also locked down the neighbouring Malayan Mansion, Selangor Mansion and the general vicinity of Jalan Masjid India.