Mandatory face mask use: Public generally compliant, self-disciplined

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE PIX

The public has generally complied with the government’s directive to wear face masks in crowded public places effective today to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bernama’s observation around the capital today found that people seem to have taken the matter seriously, especially in crowded public places, by using their face masks as soon as they alight from their vehicles.

Salesman M. Sri Mathavan, 18, views safety as a primary concern for his family as he hails from a large one and has a younger sibling at home. His family’s well-being is what motivates him to always wear a face mask while working.

“I have seven siblings and the youngest is still a baby, and therefore, I am worried about bringing the COVID-19 pandemic home. Therefore, I follow all the recommendations set by the government such as washing my hands (with soap) and bathing before gathering with my family.

“What the government is doing is right, I will definitely comply (with the government’s directives) because I cannot afford to pay the fine. I take at least three face masks with me daily when I go out,” he said.

Watch shopkeeper, Ng Nam Fooi, 62, who is also on the same page with Sri Mathavan, said the enforcement of face masks is to ensure public safety.

“I need to wear face mask as I engage with customers everyday. I have been using face masks whenever I go to work or public places even before the government’s implementation (of the face mask rule),” he said.

Meanwhile, Puteri Nur Anisa Megat Ismail, 29, said she gives hygiene and health important priorities for herself and family.

“Everyone has to remember, that this pandemic is very dangerous so we must exercise self-control. I take precautions too as my neighbour is a 65-year-old mother and I too have a four-year-old nephew who comes over often,” she said.

In Penang, a Bernama survey in George Town showed that the public complied with the government’s directives by wearing face masks and practising physical distancing in public places such as markets and food outlets. A visitor to the Jelutong market, Tan Lean Yee, 54, said she felt safer with all shoppers wearing face masks and practising physical distancing.

 “Previously, I was a bit worried when visiting public places because there are many people who do not wear face masks but today, I found that apart from food places, everyone has started wearing masks,” she said.

However, in Butterworth, police issued compounds to 20 individuals in Bagan Ajam for not wearing face masks in public places and not complying with physical distancing.

Seberang Perai Utara (SPU) district police chief ACP Noorzainy Mohd Noor said all the individuals in their 20s, were detained at the Butterworth Outer Ring Highway Bagan Ajam rest and service stop at 1.50 am.

On July 23, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government had made it mandatory to wear face masks in public places following the return of COVID-19 pandemic globally, including in Malaysia.

He was reported to have said that the public could be fined RM1,000 under Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) if they failed to comply with the rules.