CORONAVIRUS | The authorities arrested 127 people for not wearing face masks yesterday, as the mandatory face mask rule came into effect.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a total of 315 people were arrested yesterday for various violations of the recovery movement control order (MCO), of which three were remanded and 312 were issued compounds.
“Among the violations of the MCO include activities that don’t follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) with 38 arrests, activities that involve crowding that makes social distancing difficult (150 arrests), and not wearing face masks (127 arrests),” he said in a statement today.
Beginning yesterday, the government began requiring people to wear face masks when in crowded public places, in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Violators can be penalised under Regulation 10 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No 7) Regulations 2020.
This is punishable by a fine up to RM1,000, or imprisonment up to six months, or both.
According to a systematic review published in medical journal The Lancet on June 27, the use of face masks or respirators could cut the risk of Covid-19 transmission from 17.4 percent to 3.1 percent.
While the authors acknowledged shortcomings that would affect the accuracy of their estimate, the paper is still regarded as the best available data on the efficacy of face masks.
The study had also found that social distancing of at least one metre could reduce the risk of Covid-19 spread from 12.8 percent to 2.6 percent, while eye protection reduces risk from 16 percent to 5.5 percent.
Meanwhile, Ismail said 2,263 inspections were jointly made by the police and the Health Ministry yesterday to ensure that those under home surveillance orders comply with the quarantine rules imposed on them.
“Yesterday, the police took action against 28 individuals for violating SOPs for home quarantine,” he added.
Between July 24 and Aug 1, Ismail said 4,286 people had entered Malaysia from abroad, all of whom were placed in 16 hotels and five public training institutes to serve a 14-day quarantine period.
“Of the number, 13 were sent to hospital for further treatment,” he said.
Meanwhile, 3,226 inspection teams had made 63,473 inspections at supermarkets, restaurants, factories, banks, government offices, and other venues to ensure compliance with MCO restrictions.
Sixty-four roadblocks had been set up as part of Ops Benteng to tighten border control, at which 35,459 vehicles were inspected for undocumented migrants.
The Housing and Local Government Ministry, meanwhile, had carried out six public sanitisation operations in Sabah, three in Sarawak, and one in Johor.
Each of these locations recently reported outbreaks of Covid-19.
Ismail said 28 members of the Fire and Rescue Department were deployed for the operation, as well as 90 officials from the respective local authorities.