KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The authorities continue to report high daily cases of offences under the movement control order (MCO), with close to 300 people arrested yesterday for breaching regulations enforced to curb the Covid-19 spread.
“Yesterday (September 20), the police arrested 293 people for flaunting the MCO. From the total, 269 had been compounded while 24 were remanded,” Senior Minister (security cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement issued this evening.
A majority of the offenders were found to have committed common violations like visiting night clubs or pubs, not observing physical distancing, and failure to wear a face mask.
Ismail also reported two cases of people failing to pay for their mandatory quarantine charges.
The arrests followed routine daily inspections on commercial and private premises. Over 50,000 were held yesterday alone, involving markets, restaurants, and stalls among others.
The Health Ministry on the same date announced the emergence of a new Covid-19 cluster involving a local man in Penang, with two positive cases recorded.
Dubbed the Ara cluster, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the aforementioned index case, a 44-year-old male, had tested positive for Covid-19 during a screening at the international arrival gate in Sandakan, Sabah on September 15.
The spike in new infection clusters have prompted the authorities to tighten security at borders in the affected areas.
In Sabah, where campaigning for the state polls is now underway, the police have imposed movement curbs following intelligence of a purported plan by “foreigners” to cause disturbance on election day.
Ismail said today security agencies continue to enforce Ops Benteng along the country’s borders, including Sabah’s porous coastal line.
On Sunday, immigration officers detained 82 people. Five of them were suspected human traffickers while a majority were said to have no legitimate travel documents, Ismail said.
“The government will continue to take stern action against those attempting to enter our country through illegal means,” the minister said in the statement.
Malaysia recorded 52 new Covid-19 cases with no new fatalities on Sunday.