IPOH, May 21 — On the eve of the enforcement of the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in four mukim in Perak, Mentri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad implored state residents not to treat the Covid-19 pandemic lightly.

In a special address broadcast through Facebook, Saarani said that many people were still underestimating the threat of Covid-19.

“I was worried when some said the Covid-19 disease is just a fabrication. So much so that compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) was ignored and underestimated.

“And at one point, some considered violating the SOP to be a matter of pride,” he said.

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Saarani said that such views were dangerous and stressed that the Covid-19 threat is real.

“Data shows the number of infections now exceeded 6,000 cases a day. The death toll has reached more than 2,000 people.  And this number continues to rise.

“Thousands more patients are fighting for their lives in hospital wards, relying on breathing aids for survival. All these are not fictional stories,” he added.

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Saarani also reminded the state’s residents that Covid-19 could spread much faster than most realised and could infect people in unexpected ways.

“So if there is no valid reason to go out, please just sit at home. If you have to go out on a really urgent matter, please wear a face mask. Always keep a safe distance,” he said.

While acknowledging that the SOPs were burdensome, Saarani said compliance was the only way to collectively save lives.

“Many are affected. Please remember that the health and safety of life are irreplaceable.

“At the very least, think about the fate of the people around us... husbands, wives, children and the people we love. Don’t let our negligence make them suffer,” he said.

Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that four sub-districts in Perak are placed under EMCO from Saturday to June 4 after a spike in Covid-19 cases in the state.

The sub-districts are Pengkalan Hulu, Muallim, Taiping and Hulu Kinta, which involves Ipoh, Chemor, Lahat and Tanjung Rambutan.