Placed under EMCO, Bukit Gasing rep says PJ folk better prepared than others

R. Loheswar
A general view of Petaling Jaya Old Town during the enhanced movement control order May 11, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Residents living near the Jalan Othman wet market and its surrounding commercial areas in Petaling Jaya are prepared to see out the recently imposed emergency movement control order (EMCO), with many having stocked up on food and essential items ahead of time, Bukit Gasing state assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said.

For those who have failed to stock up, they need not worry, as Rajiv and his team are distributing food packs to residents in the area, both Malaysians as well as foreigners.

“Most of them were following the news and were aware of the rise in positive cases for Covid-19 and from what we found out many had stocked up on essentials ahead of this EMCO.

“There are some who were caught unawares and may be worried about being stranded but rest assured yesterday we managed to deliver food to everyone including the foreigners,” Rajiv told Malay Mail.

The government made the decision to impose the EMCO following the advice of the Health Ministry, after 26 positive Covid-19 cases were detected in the area.

Overnight, 500 houses were cordoned off to facilitate house-to-house contact tracing measures while at the same time, curb the spread of infection.

Yesterday morning, Petaling district officer Johary Anuar said one issue it was facing is that many households around the area had locals and foreigners living together.

He said screening exercises and tests will be conducted at targeted areas, especially residential areas surrounding the Jalan Othman wet market because out of 200 foreign workers who were screened and tested prior to the lockdown, about 7 per cent of them tested positive for Covid-19.

The government has been taken flak recently for its supposed mistreatment of migrant workers, and for not providing foreigners placed under EMCO with food, unlike its citizens.

Putrajaya was also accused of grouping the undocumented migrants in prisons in close proximity to one another, and many felt the government is not doing enough to provide aid and access to healthcare.

Rajiv, however, said his office is distributing food to everyone including migrants.

“We are working with the Social Welfare Department that is getting the food packs from the government and are in charge of distributions here.

“They do this once a week and are giving the residents things like condensed milk, rice, oil, flour, Maggi, biscuits, coffee and a few more items,” said Rajiv.

“Then Maria Chin and my team we get our food packs from NGOs and so on and we distribute them as well but to Malaysians as well as the foreigners. The items are almost the same,” he added, referring to Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

“The main thing for us is to ensure everyone gets something to eat and not go hungry.”

Under an EMCO, all residents are prohibited from exiting the designated zone throughout the period imposed and visitations from outside are also disallowed with all entry and exit routes blocked.

Commercial activities are also halted and a medical base will be set up within the EMCO zone.

The wet market has been closed since April 29 after four people from the market tested positive for Covid-19. The results were based on the test carried out at the market on April 29 for some of the 151 traders, council workers and cleaners there.

The first case detected at this market was a fishmonger in the middle of last month.


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