POSITIVE SIGNS ON SECOND DAY OF MCO

JAMALUDDIN BIN MUHAMMAD

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) --  There were positive signs on the second day of the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) with the presence of more police personnel to advise the public to stay home as part of the government's efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and most of the state and district police chiefs themselves went down to deliver the message at roadblocks and in crowded areas.

Members of the People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) were also deployed to assist in the mission.

The public also seemed to be more compliant with the order of staying home at all times except to buy basic necessities.

A Bernama survey found that traffic on main roads across the country was much quieter today than it was yesterday, with people only buying takeaways at restaurants and not going out in groups.

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This was a stark difference from the situation yesterday with only a 60 per cent compliance rate, as many did not take the order seriously, with some even returning to their hometowns, eating at restaurants, and going out in public.

The Information Department is also playing its role in making announcements via loudspeakers around neighbourhoods.

"We are making the announcements in four languages, namely in Bahasa Melayu, English, Chinese and Tamil," said Perlis Information Director Azrul Hasan.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said police were taking the prudent approach of advising before using more stringent methods, and that the army might be deployed as a last resort if the compliance rate did not reach a satisfactory level.

As Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah previously pointed out, Malaysia must succeed in responding to the second wave of the outbreak or face the possibility of a more serious third wave, which he likened to a ‘tsunami’.

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Bernama's survey also found that shelves in most supermarkets around the country were still adequately stocked with essentials, and workers were constantly replenishing them.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said that the number of new COVID-19 positive cases detected in the country was also on a downward trend, with 125 cases recorded on Monday (March 16) followed by 120 cases (March 17), 117 cases (March 18) and 110 cases today.

-- BERNAMA