Malaysia deploys 2,532 Covid-19 compliance teams for CNY festivities

Commissioner Hazani advised the public to adhere to the SOP to prevent the spread of Covid-19. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Some 2,532 Covid-19 compliance teams will be deployed nationwide to keep watch on activities during the Chinese New Year festive period.

Commissioner Hazani Ghazali, director of the Internal Security and Public Order Department, who disclosed this on Sunday (Jan 30), said more than 8,000 police personnel and officers will join hands with other enforcement agencies involved.

"The teams will be deployed as we step up our compliance operations during the festive period. We want to ensure that the SOP (standard operating procedure) is adhered to.

"Patrols will be increased to emphasise the top priority on the SOP," he told The Star.

Commissioner Hazani advised members of the public to adhere to the SOP to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"The virus is still out there and remains dangerous. The government has relaxed some restrictions to enable interstate travel and the reunion dinner, so we hope that the public will respond by playing its part," he added.

He reminded the public on the importance of maintaining physical distancing and avoiding crowded locations.

"We will take stern action against anyone who violates the SOP under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988," he said.

Commissioner Arjunaidi Mohamed, Selangor's police chief, said that his men were all ready for the monitoring task and reminded the public to celebrate the festive occasion "responsibly".

He said with this year's festive SOP allowing for more interaction, the public should be mindful of the dos and don'ts.

"Police teams will be out to make sure the SOP is enforced and adhered to. The special operations will last throughout the festive period.

"While the restrictions have been eased this year, I advise all to keep safe.

"There are still certain things not allowed under the Chinese New Year celebration SOP," he said.

He advised people with Covid-19 symptoms to stay indoors, and urged those heading to their home towns and attending reunion dinners to do a prior Covid-19 self-test.

"The key is to celebrate responsibly and protect yourself and others," he said.

The government earlier announced that reunion dinners, prayers and receptions are allowed under a new set of SOP for the Chinese New Year.

However, the hosting of open houses involving a huge number of guests is barred.

National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique had said that family members could look forward to coming together for their reunion dinner, which typically takes place on the eve of Chinese New Year.

Although there was no mention of a cap on the number of people who could attend the dinner, it was meant only for family members, she said.

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