THE Penang government has decided to implement two measures to enhance the effectiveness of the movement control order (MCO).
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that all essential business premises in Penang are only allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm starting tomorrow (March 25).
“The operating hours are decided following the suitable business operating hours routine in Penang.
“Secondly, all free Central Area Transit (CAT) bus services will be stopped for the remaining period of the MCO,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to the Rapid Penang travel information, the Rapid Penang bus services, Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) feeder bus services and Rapid Kamunting will be operating from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm, from tomorrow (March 25) onwards.
The BEST FIZ bus services operation schedule remains unchanged.
Chow said that the compliance rate of Penangites towards the MCO was 90%.
“The compliance rate is lower than the national rate of 92%, according to the police.
“We have to step up our efforts to ensure that people abide by the MCO and we need everybody’s cooperation,” he told the public via Facebook Live on his Facebook page today.
Chow said that the Penang government was among the first states to announce an economic stimulus package of RM20 million to assist the people who are impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
“I will be presenting the details of the economic stimulus package tomorrow (March 25) after the Penang executive council meeting.
“The Penang government has also managed to order six million units of face mask after successful sourcing and negotiation with the suppliers. Priority will be given to the frontliners and the communities who are in need.
“I will be providing information on the supplies of other necessities, such as hand sanitisers and thermometers, from time to time. We have distributed thousands of hand sanitisers and infra-red thermometers to the local councils and the security teams to strengthen the frontliners in Penang,” he said.
Chow also said that the state government believed that it would receive RM10 million in aid from the Federal Government to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The prime minister had announced that the Federal Government will channel the allocations totaling RM130 million to all states.
“The Penang government will be using the allocation to support the state Health Department in any form of assistance it needs to fight the outbreak.
“We will aid the state Health Department to provide the best services for the people and the victims that are impacted by the Covid-19 infection.
“We will look into ways that we can help, such as providing intensive care unit (ICU) facilities, which may be much needed at a later stage,” he said.
Chow said that the Penang government accepted the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) decision to allow factories listed under the essential industry category to operate.
“We hope that MITI will tighten the guidelines to ensure that factories that are given permission to operate will obey them. It is very important that they abide by the guidelines to ascertain the safety and health of the employees are protected,” he said.
Chow added that there had been no suspected Covid-19 cases reported from the Theppa Thirunal (floating chariot festival) at Singamugha Kaliamman Temple in Teluk Bahang.
The festival was held on March 8.
“I have been informed by the state Health Department that it is closely monitoring the situation,” he said.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Alvie Cheng
Video by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi