KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today said nine prisons in peninsular Malaysia will be placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) starting today until November 4, amid a spike in Covid-19 cases there.

He said five of the nine prisons and their adjacent staff quarters are located in the northern peninsula: Perlis; Sungai Petani in Kedah; Taiping, Kamunting and Tapah in Perak.

He added that the remaining four are located in Selangor, listing them as Sungai Buloh Prison, Puncak Alam Prison, and the men’s and women’s prison in Kajang.

The minister also announced an EMCO for the Anjung Teduh, Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu locality starting this Saturday to November 6.

He added that EMCO has been extended for six localities in Semporna and one locality in Kunak for the same dates.

Nine prisons and their adjacent staff quarters in peninsular Malaysia are also to be placed under EMCO from October 22 to November 4.

He said sundry shops in designated EMCO areas will also be allowed to open from 6am to 6pm daily.

“Usually we send dry goods and foods to those in EMCO areas, but we also know that the needs of the rakyat are more than just that.

“For example, those who have newborns need milk formulas and diapers. That is why we decided to let sundry shops operate during the EMCO period,” he said.

With regards to EMCO in prisons, Ismail said that the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the prisons will be the same as the SOPs implemented in prisons that have already been through EMCO.

He said that among the SOPs that have been put in place are no visitations allowed, staff movement is based on the SOP given by the Prison Department, and prisoners that are to be freed during the ECMO period will be separated from the rest of the inmates.

“At the beginning, the Covid-19 cases started in the Tawau prison. It started to spread to other prisons because wardens from this prison would infect other wardens who then bring Covid-19 to their respective prisons.

“That is why we now have implemented EMCO in these prisons,” he said.

On the extensions of EMCO in Semporna and Kudak, Ismail added that the extension is also required for the purpose of enabling continuous screening by the Health Ministry and to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the local area.

“So far, the risk assessment conducted by health officials found that there is still a rise in Covid-19 cases in the area, hence we have decided to extend the EMCO in these areas,” he said.

The localities in Semporna were identified as Kampung Bangau-Bangau, Kampung Panji, Kampung Air, Kampung Selamat, Kampung Simunul and Kampung Pinggir Bakau. The one locality in Kunak is in Kampung Pangkalan.