COVID-19 | After suspicions of a possible Covid-19 infection at the Desa Puteri housing complex in Bandar Tasik Puteri in Rawang, Selangor, a resident decided to take a swab test on Oct 7.
The matter also sparked concerns among residents over a potential spike of infections in the area.
Not wanting to take any risks, the residents agreed to a collective home quarantine measure since as early as Oct 7, and in fact, set-up their own taskforce with a dedicated command centre.
The resident, who took the initial swab test, was confirmed positive on Oct 9.
As of Oct 24, 31 residents from some 2,000 in the area have been tested positive, according to Desa Puteri Residents Association chairperson Joseph Ninting Janting.
Joseph told Malaysiakini the positive figure would have spiked had it not been for early efforts by the residents to self-quarantine even prior to the confirmation of the initial case.
“The residents gave full cooperation - the majority will not even leave the house if they have no pressing matters,” said Joseph, adding that they had received food aid from NGOs and Kuang assemblyperson Salehuddin Amiruddin.
“It gives us the strength to last for two weeks, to really stay at home and only go out when it’s really needed, for instance, to work.”
Joseph added that the residents had wanted the authorities to enforce a movement restriction order in the area to prevent the spread of the infection, but it did not happen.
On the residents' taskforce, Joseph said its role included reminding residents to stay at home, sharing the latest updates on the situation, as well as distributing aid to the homes of those under quarantine.
Joseph said there are 477 houses in the area and close contacts of the positive cases have been screened.
Another resident, Nuruddin Razali, expressed disappointment as he claimed authorities had been slow to act, only arriving in the area several days ago despite recording a high number of cases since earlier this month.
Aside from the taskforce, a group of residents also gathered online via Google Meet to discuss the latest updates, according to the local mosque's chairperson Suryadi Mohamed.
With the closure of mosques under the conditional MCO now in force across Selangor, residents met online for Yaasin recitals, including their neighbours undergoing treatment in hospital.
"Whatever their problems, we will try to help. Some of them asked to check on their families at home, so we are taking care of them," Suryadi told Malaysiakini.
Selangor Public Health exco Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud told Malaysiakini that the state government will be carrying out targeted screenings among Taman Desa Puteri residents today.
The Seri Serdang assemblyperson also said the screenings will be carried out by the Selcare clinic under the state government, in cooperation with the Selangor Health Department.