Police to check homes during Hari Raya

If the police find a concentration of cars parked outside a house, they will conduct a check, says senior minister


THE police will be stepping up checks during the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration to conduct safety inspections on homes suspected of having an overwhelming number of guests.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his daily briefing yesterday said authorities will ramp up measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak during the festive period as people gather at homes and visit relatives for family reunions.

Under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which expires on June 9, family get-togethers are allowed as long as social distancing rules are observed.

Hosts are allowed to receive guests only on the first day of Hari Raya of up to 20 people depending on the size of their homes.

“The police will be making their rounds during Hari Raya. If they find a concentration of cars parked outside a house, they will conduct a check to see if health guidelines are observed,” Ismail Sabri said.

The minister expects movement to increase as the country moves closer towards the end of the Ramadhan fasting month. The number of frantic attempts to travel across states without permits have seen an increase recently with the police ordering 1,633 motorists to turn around on Monday.

Interstate travel continues to be restricted, with exceptions granted to emergency cases and those commuting for work.

Ismail Sabri said no compounds have been issued so far but authorities may take sterner action if the lack of cooperation persists.

The government has also advised against visiting graves during Hari Raya, but there is no law that prohibits the act, Ismail Sabri said.

However, he said the public should not rely on rules to be self-disciplined in guarding themselves against the virus.

“The virus will be around for the next two to five years. There is no way the CMCO will go on for two years, so it is self-discipline that will protect us.

“We have to be mindful of our actions and be alert that those around us may be carriers. Currently, there is no guideline for grave visits, it is merely a counsel from the Health Ministry. We will make an announcement if there is one,” he said.

Previously, Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised people to refrain from visiting graves during the festive season as it is customary.

He had also urged Muslims to celebrate Hari Raya behind closed doors this year to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri announced that the government will allow selected athletes to train during the CMCO in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games, which will be held in 2021. The “Road to Tokyo” programme will involve 265 individuals, including 57 athletes.

“They will be divided into three centres from June 1 until June 30 under Phase 1 of the programme. There will be 181 athletes at Bukit Jalil, 56 athletes at Akademi Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara and 28 athletes at the National Sailing Centre in Langkawi.

“Strict health guidelines will apply including swab tests on registration day and a 30-day quarantine. Once they are at their camps, they will not be allowed to go out for a month. After they complete their training, they will go through another round of swab tests,” he explained.

During training, social distancing rules will apply on athletes to avoid infection. The Youth and Sports Ministry will track whether activities are compliant with health procedures.