Kedah takes swift measures to curb COVID-19 infection – MB


THE Kedah government has implemented several swift measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection, among others, by closing all public parks and limiting the operating hours of business premises in areas that recorded positive cases.

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Noor (picture; left) said that the high risk areas include Mukim Tawar in Baling which involved the Tawar Cluster, several locations in Yan (Sala Cluster) and Kuala Muda (Muda Cluster).

Business premises such as grocery and 24-hour convenience stores as well as shops at petrol stations in the areas are only allowed to operate from 8 am to 8 pm, while night markets under the purview of local authorities may only operate from 4 pm to 8 pm.

“Only packed food and meal delivery services are allowed, while dining at restaurant is disallowed. Social events are being postponed including government agencies and departments’ programmes, while ‘kenduri’ (feasts) should also be postponed or cancelled,” he said in a statement here today.

He said that the decision was made during the state Security Working Committee meeting which he chaired at Wisma Darul Aman, last night.

Apart from that, Muhammad Sanusi said that all mosques and religious institutions in the areas where positive COVID-19 cases were detected have been ordered to close immediately for sanitation and surveillance processes until the cases are completely eradicated.

He said that all the rulings took effect today and a guideline on the matter would be distributed immediately to all local authorities.

Commenting on the concern voiced by parents about sending their children to school, he said thus far the state government was of the view that the situation at schools was under control and the state government did not have the power to close schools.

“According to the Education Department, schools are still safe for students to attend thus far, because there are effective standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to control transmission. Besides, the families involved (those having had close contact with COVID-19) are undergoing quarantine at home or in hospitals,” he said.

“The authority (to close the schools) lies with the Ministry of Education on the advice of the Ministry of Health and this matter will be decided by the National Security Council at the central level, while the announcement will be made by the senior minister. The state government will only announce matters under the purview of local authorities and state religious council,” he said.

In the meantime, he said that all planned events ahead of the National Day celebrations in the state have been cancelled and public places which often became the focus on the public holiday such as Pantai Merdeka and Pulau Sayak, will also be closed.