Local authorities have expressed concern over the lack of compliance to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) at Ramadan bazaars across Malaysia
According to Bernama, photos and videos of crowds not observing physical distancing at several bazaars have created a stir on social media.
Checks by local state authorities in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, and Penang have also found that people were not adhering to SOPs when purchasing food to break fast, reported New Straits Times.
The authorities have warned that they may cancel Ramadan bazaars if people continue to disregard the restrictions in place to curb the spread of infection.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited a Ramadan bazaar in Putrajaya to also check on the level of compliance for himself
In a Facebook post yesterday, 14 April, he reminded the public that the COVID-19 pandemic has not eased and all parties should remain vigilant to ensure the safety of those around them.
"Practise physical distancing and use hand sanitisers before and after being in a place visited by many people," he said.
The prime minister also advised that bazaar organisers should take necessary measures such as separating the entry and exit route of visitors, reducing the number of stalls to create safe spacing, and stationing staff to remind visitors about physical distancing.
Due to the situation, the National Security Council (MKN) and Ministry of Health (MOH) have given local authorities permission to issue compounds to those who breach SOPs at Ramadan bazaars
"MKN has received several complaints from the public on non-compliance with SOPs at Ramadan bazaars in several locations in Malaysia," announced Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.
"The matter is being viewed seriously because the spread of COVID-19 is still at a worrying level."
He announced that MOH has now authorised mayors, presidents of local councils (PBTs), and enforcement officers grade 19 and above to issue compounds under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) against violations at Ramadan bazaars.
The new enforcement began on Wednesday, 14 April.
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