The Covid-19 pandemic, that is still plaguing the world, has been affecting all walks of life, especially small traders who are feeling the pinch the most due to the outbreak.
A check at the Penang Sentral here today found that the majority of traders were concerned as they have hardly any customers of late.
The temporary closure of several factories in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone here is necessary to break the chain of Covid-19 infection and prevent the situation from escalating, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He said this had to be done although it would have a huge impact and result in major losses.
The government has agreed to enforce the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) at the Seberang Prai prison and prison quarters in Penang for another two weeks from Nov 19 to Dec 2.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was made following advice from the Health Ministry that 73 Covid-19 screening tests on prison staff and families were yet to be released.
He said the cumulative positive cases in the areas were 557 cases.
A suspected Covid-19 patient who cut his pink wristband and fled from the Penang Hospital yesterday, was picked up several hours later.
The 23-year-old was spotted at a row of shophouses in Bayan Lepas about 9pm.
He was then escorted by several health workers in full personal protective gear back to the hospital in an ambulance.
The Penang State Health Department has ordered 68 stalls in the Taman Free School Market to be closed for 14 days after a trader tested positive for Covid-19.
The health department conducted checks at the market earlier today but announced its closure later in the afternoon.
Health department officials started condoning off the stalls with the notice of closure at about 4pm today.
Tour bus drivers have been so badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic that many had to sell their buses and declare bankruptcy, the North Zone Tour Bus Operators Coalition chairman Ahmad Ruslan said today.
According to Ahmad, more than 1,200 tour buses have been sold in the northern region this period following the latest four-week long movement restriction order in all but four states nationwide.
Traders at the market at Kompleks Sri Aman in Paya Terubong near here are beginning to feel the pinch, second day into the statewide Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Many traders, met by the New Straits Times today, lamented how their businesses had dropped drastically following the increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
The Penang State Health Department (JKNPP) has proposed that the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) imposed on the state remand prison and prison quarters here be discontinued as scheduled on Wednesday, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pix).
He said the state government wants these two localities to be under the statewide Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which came into force today.
The people of Penang are taking it easy this time around as they prepare for the statewide Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) effective tomorrow.
While there were more people thronging the morning markets and hypermarkets in various parts of the state since yesterday, there was no report of panic buying.
The Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) office and counters in its Bayan Baru, Penang branch will operate on limited hours; from 9am to 2pm on weekdays starting from November 9, 2020 until further notice.
In a statement today, EPF said the limited operation hours is due to the conditional movement control order (CMCO) announced for the Mukim 12, Daerah Barat Daya district starting November 6.
All economic and industrial activities in Penang’s Mukim 12 are allowed to continue as long as full compliance with regulations under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) is ensured, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.
The area has been placed under travel restrictions from tomorrow until November 19 to prevent further Covid-19 infections and is the hub for Penang’s factories.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has called for residents of sub-district 12 in the southwest district here to remain calm following announcement of a two-week Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to be implemented from Friday.
"I urge all of you to remain calm and wait for further information from the relevant authorities with regards to the implementation of the CMCO," he said in a brief statement this evening.
A police report has been lodged against a woman, wearing a pink wristband, who tried to enter a market in Relau here this morning.
A team from the Northeast district health office spotted the woman during their standard operating procedure (SOP) checks at the market about 8.45am.
Northeast police chief Assistant Commissioner Soffian Santong said the 26-year-old woman has been identified as a Person Under Surveillance (PUS), staying in Paya Terubong.
A two-week Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will be imposed at sub-district 12 of the Penang southwest district from Nov 6.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was made following advice from the Health Ministry, which was discussed by the National Security Council (NSC) in a special meeting today.
Business operators near Jalan Kolam Ikan in Bayan Lepas have expressed concern over the growing number of Covid-19 cases linked to the Bayan cluster.
As of yesterday, the cluster had logged 62 active cases.
Several operators, when approached by the New Straits Times, said they fear for their safety after seeing ambulances making their way into the residential area to ferry Covid-19 victims, comprising foreign workers, to hospital since last week.
Despite being placed on "lockdown", the morale of about 700 staff at the Penang Remand Prison here and the Seberang Prai Prison in Jawi is still high.
State Prisons Department director Roslan Mohamed said staff in the two facilities were still in high spirits despite some of them not being able to meet their loved ones.
One of the nation's leading, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), here, is taking precautionary measures in ensuring the safety and well-being of its community members following an increase in positive Covid-19 cases in the state in recent weeks.
As such, USM Covid-19 Nerve Centre chairperson Professor Dr Md Roslan Hashim said, all members of the campus community, including the staff and students, are urged to abide by the latest instructions.
All 17 positive Covid-19 cases reported in the Seberang Prai Prison in Jawi and the Penang Remand Prison here yesterday involved inmates.
There were nine active cases in Jawi and eight active cases here.
Seberang Prai Prison director Zulkifli Abdul Manah said the nine inmates tested positive during the second round of screening.
39 inmates from the Penang Remand Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 during a third round of screening, on Friday.
Penang Remand Prison director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail said they were screened for a third time after displaying symptoms of the novel coronavirus.
"The two prior screenings (for Covid-19) carried out on them came back negative.
All six Covid-19 positive cases reported at the Penang Remand Prison here on Thursday involved inmates.
Penang Remand Prison director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail said they were found positive during the second screening for the coronavirus.
"They were tested negative during the first round of screening. Health officials then decided to do a second screening, focusing on those who showed some form of symptoms.
The Penang Remand Prison, currently placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) along with the prison quarters, welcomes any form of assistance from various quarters to ensure it has ample supplies to meet the needs of the prison staff and inmates.
Penang Remand Prison director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail said among the items needed were personal protective equipment (PPE), face shields, face masks and bottled water.
Authorities have identified teachers and students of SK Seri Sentosa, who are close contacts of a pupil who was tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
Screening (for Covid-19) has begun for some of them.
It was learnt that the pupil was from the school's special education class.
Another officer from Seberang Prai Prison in Jawi is the latest prison official to have contracted Covid-19.
This brings to three, the total number of officers at the prison, confirmed to be Covid-19 positive.
Seberang Prai Prison director Zulkifli Abdul Manah said the officer was one of 14 confirmed Covid-19 cases reported in the prison on Monday.
Ninety-nine per cent of Covid-19 tests carried out on some 300 Penang Remand Prison personnel and those staying in the prison quarters have came back negative.
Its director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail said they were still awaiting results of the other tests, which they hope to obtain by Wednesday.
"All of them had been screened (for Covid-19) since (last) Thursday until Saturday. We have received about 99 per cent of the test results, which came back negative.
Pusat Jagaan Darul Hanan in Pongsu Seribu here has reported eight positive Covid-19 cases involving its residents.
The first active case was a 69-year-old woman.
Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) chairman Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said after the first active case was reported, they screened all close contacts and detected another seven others who tested positive for the corononavirus.
The Penang government is considering placing the Seberang Prai Prison in Jawi and the prison quarters there under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).
This follows the increasing number of positive Covid-19 cases reported there.
As of yesterday, the Jawi Prison cluster logged 86 active cases. Two of the cases involved prison officers.
Another positive Covid-19 case involving a prisons officer has been reported at the Seberang Prai prison in Jawi on Sunday.
The latest case brings to two the number of active cases involving officers in the prison.
Seberang Prai prison director Zulkifli Abdul Manah said the two officers had worked in the same new block with inmates who had before this tested positive.
Non-government organisations (NGOs) are highly encouraged to donate face masks to the Penang prisons, as the supply for inmates is running low.
Penang Prisons director Roslan Mohamed said that the two prisons in Penang, namely the Penang Remand Prison and Seberang Perai Prison would require at least 4,500 face masks daily.