Lockdown leaves Menara City One folk full of worries

A Menara City One resident holds up a sign asking for rice after the condominium is locked down under an enhanced movement control order.

KUALA LUMPUR: The lockdown of Menara City One in Kuala Lumpur has left some of the condominium’s residents worrying about their situation.

FMT interviewed two of them who said their concerns over the availability of food and the loss of income were reflective of the anxieties of their neighbours.

Both are Indonesian nationals. Lia Rezza Verdiansyah, 45, is from Bandung and Susiyati Soemarto, 50, is from Surabaya.

Lia said she was scared that her nationality might disqualify her from receiving supplies promised by the government.

She said it was two weeks ago when she first heard of a positive Covid-19 case in the condominium.

“We received information through our community WhatsApp group. At the time, we were still allowed to go out to buy food.“

She said it was the person infected with the virus who sent the WhatsApp alert. “He told us he had already recovered and there was no need to worry.”

The government ration for each household.

However, things took a turn on Monday when the government said there were 17 cumulative cases originating from the condominium and announced an enhanced movement control order until April 13.

This affects 3,200 residents in 502 units as well business premises located in the building. This is the third area put under lockdown after Simpang Renggam in Johor and Sungai Lui in Selangor.

Under the enhanced order, residents are not allowed to leave the building and non-residents are not allowed into it. All exits from the area are closed and all non-essential businesses in the tower are ordered shut. However, residents can order food and receive their orders at the main lobby.

“We started panicking,” Lia said. “Where do we go? We can’t leave this place, but I don’t feel safe staying here.”

She said the shops nearby had all closed and she was anxious about restocking food for her and her 15-year-old son.

Susiyati, a single mother who lives with six other women, said all the positive Covid-19 cases in the condominium came from two units occupied by the same Pakistani family.

Army personnel stand guard outside the Menara City One condominium in Kuala Lumpur.

She said she had heard that 12 of them attended the Sri Petaling tabligh convention said to be the epicentre of the outbreak in the country.

Susiyati’s main concern is that she cannot leave the country to be with her two children in Surabaya.

“I’m praying for the best,” she said. “But I’m worried about how I’m supposed to feed my kids back home. Now, with the lockdown, I have no income.”

The government promised that food and supplies would be given to every resident, and Susiyati said the promise had been kept.

She said each residential unit had been given one box of wet and dry food, consisting of rice, oil, sugar, eggs and canned milk. These were distributed from the condominium parking lot, she added.

“There were no lines. The authorities called a resident from each house to tell us to get the supplies. I went with three other women; so they gave us an extra box.”