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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 10 — North-east district police chief Asst Comm Soffian Santong said about 320 fines have been issued to individuals who flouted Covid-19 SOPs between January 13 and February 9 in the north-east district of Penang island.
He said the fines issued were for various offences but many were those who gathered in groups in public areas such as by the beach, behind shops or under the shed.
“We find many individuals like to gather in groups to chat with no valid reason to be outside their houses so most of the fines issued were for these people,” he said after conducting a spot check at the Cecil Street Market here today.
He said the movement control order (MCO) SOPs clearly stated that the people can only leave their houses for work or to buy essential items so those found gathering, even in small groups, to chat will be issued fines.
“Today, we have issued a total of 15 fines at several locations during our Op Bersasar including at construction sites,” he said.
He said the police together with the city council enforcement team will continue to conduct spot checks and operations in public places such as markets and shopping malls, especially after all commercial sectors reopened today.
“We want to ensure that the public adheres to the SOPs at these places, to register on MySejahtera, wear masks and physical distancing,” he said.
He said some markets, such as the Cecil Street Market, needed to improve their SOPs, such as ensuring there’s only one entrance so that all visitors will register when they enter.
He said the city council will work with the market management on how to fine tune and improve their SOPs at the site.
Since it is a mere two days to Chinese New Year, with an anticipated rush for Chinese New Year shopping, Soffian said a total of 32 teams will be monitoring and checking all markets and retail complexes.
“We will continue with our operations to ensure compliance to SOPs at all these places,” he said.
He also reminded the public that they are not allowed to visit other houses during Chinese New Year and that the reunion dinner tomorrow night can only involve family members living within a 10km radius and limited to only 15 people.
As for religious activities at temples, he said they must be conducted in accordance with strict SOPs.