GEORGE TOWN, Oct 28 — The conditional movement control order in the Klang Valley has hurt domestic tourism that Penang was relying on for the sector’s recovery, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Chow said the tourism industry in Penang was very badly affected in these two weeks due to the CMCO.
“Our visitors are from states affected by Covid-19 so this has deeply impacted our tourism industry as they could not leave due to the CMCO,” he said in a press conference at his office today.
He said Penang could not afford to face a third or fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic as other than affecting public health, the state’s economy will suffer.
He called on everyone to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures to break the chain of infection so that the state can restore its green zone status.
“This is not only in Penang, even if we can become a green zone again, if there are other cases in other states, this can indirectly affect Penang’s economy such as tourism,” he said.
Chow hinted that several more positive Covid-19 cases in Penang are expected to be reported by the Health Ministry later today.
He linked it to the two prisons, the Penang Remand Prison on the island and the Jawi Prison on the mainland.
“There are still a few more cases in prison and we need more time to break the chain of infection as in those situations, it is difficult to maintain physical distancing in prisons,” he said.
He expected more cases could be reported in the prisons in these few days.
Chow added that the state had applied for an extension of the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) of the remand prison on the island and the health ministry and security council had agreed to this.
“The EMCO in the Jawi prison is still in force,” he said.
On the Bayan Cluster that saw a factory being ordered to close for two days for disinfection and almost 200 foreign workers being placed on quarantine, Chow said close contact with the index case has led to a few cases in the community.
“Some food premises that the positive case had visited were also ordered to be temporarily closed for disinfection,” he said.
Chow reminded the public to be patient and to only refer to official statements and reports from the Health Ministry, the National Security Council or the state government in regards to Covid-19 cases.
“I will give additional information if there is a need and we are confident that people will cooperate with us by adhering to the SOPs,” he said.
Earlier, Chow presented RM999,840 to 1,460 students in 117 schools under its Penang Minor Scholarships programme.
Each lower secondary school student will receive RM600 and each upper secondary student will receive RM840 under the scholarship programme.
The scholarship programme, launched in 2008, has benefited a total 11,000 students at a cost of RM23.39 since its launch.