Bomba chief, FT minister say barbed wire blocking fire escape routes in EMCO areas must go

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Armed Forces personnel install barbed wire fencing at PPR Kampung Baru Air Panas Block C during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Kuala Lumpur July 3, 2021. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Armed Forces personnel install barbed wire fencing at PPR Kampung Baru Air Panas Block C during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in Kuala Lumpur July 3, 2021. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Barbed wires placed at the staircases of certain low-cost flats in the city under tightened lockdown have been ordered to be removed, Malaysiakini reported this evening.

The news portal quoted Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid saying corrective measures have been to ensure public safety in the event of an emergency.

“The barbed wire is now only set up at the ground floor after the final exit.

“There are no longer any obstructions to the fire escape route,” he was quoted saying.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa also weighed in on his Twitter account later.

“Not allowed to install barbed wire at flats under EMCO. The order has been given to dismantle them immediately Please take notice,” he posted.

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He added that doing so violated the building code and by-laws.

Pictures of security officials setting up the barbed wires along staircases to high-rise public housing projects in the city ahead of the government’s enhanced movement control order (EMCO) drew consternation and alarm from Malaysians on social media last night for being fire hazards.

One of the places pictured with barbed wire on the stairs was Kampung Baru Air Panas PPR in Kuala Lumpur, taken by national news agency Bernama.

Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed had given an assurance that barbed wires will not be set up in the state under EMCO.

Fourteen localities in Kuala Lumpur and 34 mukim across Selangor are under EMCO effective today till July 16 in an attempt to decrease the spread of Covid-19.

Cases in the Klang Valley accounted for 3,663, more than half of the 6,658 cases nationwide today.

In a statement today, the Health Ministry said the infectivity rate (Rt) for Selangor, based on yesterday’s cases, is at 1.07. The Rt for KL is only slightly lower at 1.03.

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