Kota Setar, Tawau Prison to be placed under EMCO

A health department worker sanitises the area surrounding Masjid Ar-Rahman near Alor Merah in Kota Setar, Kedah, which will be placed under administrative EMCO from tomorrow. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Kota Setar in Kedah will be placed under an administrative enhanced movement control order (EMCO) from tomorrow until Sept 25, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.

This follows the rise in Covid-19 cases in the locality, linked to the Sungai and Tawar clusters.

Ismail also announced that Tawau Prison will be placed under EMCO during the same period.

However, the lockdown will only affect the prisoners, prison staff and their family members who live in the prison area.

He also announced that the targeted EMCO in Amanjaya, Kedah, will be extended by another three days as the health ministry has yet to receive all the lab results from the second testing.

Ismail said the border with Thailand will also be closed due to the administrative EMCO, which will affect more than 360,000 people in 28 townships.

Police and army personnel will be deployed where roadblocks at the entry and exit points of the locality will be set up, as no one will be allowed to enter or leave the area.

“I hope no action will be taken against workers who can’t go to work, and if possible, we encourage employers to ask employees to work from home,” he said at a press conference.

Those who might need to leave the area because of an emergency may do so after obtaining approval from police.

“Mosques and houses of worship are asked to remain closed throughout the EMCO period. And all sports, recreational, social and cultural activities are not permitted.

“All educational institutions such as kindergartens, schools and higher education institutes are to be closed. Examination sessions in public and private schools, including technical training institutes are also postponed,” he said.

Only essential businesses will be allowed to operate during the EMCO, such as those selling food, convenience stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, clinics and hospitals.

While clinics and hospitals are allowed to operate 24 hours, other businesses will only be allowed to open from 8am to 8pm.

“Factories must request permission from police before they are allowed to operate. Although restaurants and food premises are allowed to operate, they can only serve takeaways.

“Night markets and farmers’ markets are not allowed, while morning markets are only allowed to operate from 6am to 2pm,” he said.

Ismail said only one representative from each household will be allowed to leave the house to purchase groceries and essential goods.

Vehicles ferrying essential goods will be allowed to enter and leave the locality, although they must obtain approval from police.

Ferry services in Kuala Kedah will also be suspended, he said, and users are advised to use the services in Kuala Perlis instead.