More drastic measures if people ignore movement control, warns Penang CM

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (centre) hands over medical supplies to Penang Hospital chief assistant director Surentharan Mathavan.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today said some people may still be crowding food courts and places of interest despite an order to observe social distancing probably due to habit.

He said their ignorance of the movement control order (MCO) effective today might only force others to pay a bigger price as more drastic controls might have to be put in place if the Covid-19 scourge was not reduced in the next 14 days.

“It is expected that on the first day, there will be some weaknesses among the people. They feel they need a period of adjustment.

“But we need the media and others to make them fully aware that by doing the right thing, we can come out triumphant in beating the Covid-19 spread, or else, we would have to resort to more stringent measures if this first round fails,” Chow told a press conference in Komtar today.

Social media has been abuzz with anger over pictures of people gathering at a food court on the island, appearing to be ignorant about an order to not gather in numbers and to avoid crowds.

“We need to flatten the curve of those infected with Covid-19. This is a small sacrifice for the time being, but for the greater good,” he said.

Earlier, Chow handed 10 pieces of personal protective equipment and 280 surgical gowns for frontliners in the Penang Health Department.

To date, Penang has 23 Covid-19 cases, with one recovery. Nationally, there are 673 cases, the highest in Asean.