Lock Down in Malaysia 2020: Day 15 & I Thought I Was First at Tesco

lock down

Today starts the 2nd phase of the nationwide lock down which will see a stricter enforcement of the order in many ways. This 2nd phase was unavoidable considering that ever since the lock down started on18th March 2020, there are a large number of people still out of touch with reality of things. Image source: Bernama.

Everyday (except perhaps today) I often see morons jogging around my residential area although the number of clueless morons has reduced substantially after got some angry responses from other residents in the resident Telegram group and with tighter enforcement of the law.

Be assured that the authorities will not be so lenient as before and in the past few days, the number of people arrested for violating the order has increased in the past weeks.

It is reported that as at todate, there are more than 1,000 people arrested for breaking the lock down order:-

Malaysian authorities have arrested more than 1,000 people by Saturday for flouting the 28-day MCO that began on March 18, shutting down schools and businesses, and allowing people to leave their homes only to buy essential goods and services such as food and medical care.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said 73 people have been charged and have pleaded guilty. The government arrested 649 people on Saturday alone, compared to 320 on Friday, and 162 on Thursday.

The MCO, he said, has seen a 97 per cent compliance. Still, there have been videos shared of people jogging on public streets, children playing together on neighbourhood roads and people praying together in mosques.

(Source)

And then we have this famous idiot who thought that his arguments override the strict lock down orders:-

A cardiologist who challenged authorities trying to enforce the movement control order and continued jogging was charged over two related offences today.

Prosecutors charged Dr Ong Hean Teik, 61, with going to the Taman Bandaraya along Jalan Persiaran Quarry at 4.45pm on March 19 without valid reason as required under Rule 3(1) Prevention of Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the infected local areas) Regulations 2020.

This section provides for a fine of up to RM1,000 or a jail term of not more than six months or both upon conviction. He was also charged with obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty at the same place at about 6pm on the same day, under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

The second offence is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of RM10,000, or both upon conviction.

Magistrate Jameliah Abdul Manaf allowed bail at RM13,000 for both charges and ordered Ong to surrender his passport. She also ordered him to report to the police station once a month and set mention date of the case on June 9.

(Source)

Malaysia has recorded a total COVID-19 infection of 2,766 with 537 recovered and 43 deaths. This represents a fatality rate of 1.55% and a recovery rate of 19.41%. The number of new infections and number of deaths has been somewhat consistent.

Compare these rates with Italy which has a fatality rate of 11.75% and a recovery rate of 14.87% and US which has a fatality rate of 2.15% and a recovery rate of 3.84%. China where the virus pandemic first started has a fatality rate of 4.06% and a recovery rate of 93.48%.

lock down

It is a global concern – the darker blue means the situation is even worse compared to other countries. Malaysia is not far off from this band and thus the lock down continues. Image source: WHO

This morning, I decided to go to Tesco near my house – actually I have putting off going out anyway out of the house but we were running out of some essentials especially fresh vegetables, onions, tomatoes and potatoes. Well, basically key ingredients of Indian cooking and sooner or later, we need to venture out. Forget purchasing things online – it is overpriced and delivery slots are either full or take days to deliver.

As usual, I left the house about 15 minutes before 8 am and 5 minutes later, I was driving to Tesco’s parking lot. The Tesco near my house has 2 entrances and 2 parking lots. The one I drove to was rather empty so much so I thought I was the first to arrive.

That is until I saw the signboard at entrance that said “Use Main Entrance” which was the other entrance. Kind of felt cheated, I drove out and into the other parking lot where I saw a long queue already forming even before Tesco opened for business. A queue of easily 40 people with shopping carts waiting rather impatiently for the doors to open.

Worried of the sanitation level of the shopping carts, I wore a small plastic bag over my hands which acted as plastic gloves, grabbed a shopping cart from the parking lot and headed towards to end of the queue.

Good thing the morning sun was not that hot then and soon the queue started to move.

Right before the entrance, Tesco staff checked for the temperature and just after that, there was bottle of hand sanitizer so I discarded the plastic bag that I wore as a glove. After sanitizing my hands, the remaining solution I wiped over the handle of the shopping cart.

tesco

I took out my shopping list and started to look for the shopping items – I saw few clueless husbands along the way, staring at the shopping list but not sure what to take. Maybe they missed the shopping guide like the above from Tesco.

The 1 metre distancing works well when we queue at the weighing station or the check out counters but once you are at the aisles shopping for items, we are basically standing shoulder to shoulder and feeling rather exposed. The only consolation is that the next guy was checked for his temperature, was wearing a facial mask and probably had sanitized his hands whilst coming in.

It took almost an hour to complete the shopping this morning and I sped off back home to drop the shopping items before I start my office work. However first thing first, a good scrub of the hands and the house keys with soap before I do anything else.

Cleared the shopping items into the fridge and also to my doomsday storeroom and I was off to take my shower. The clothes went straight into the washing machine. Still I was not done. After shower I came down and do another scrub of my hands with soap again.

Perhaps it is just unnecessary phobia; perhaps it is just a matter of extra precautions but the last thing I want is to have get the infection or worst, be healthy, show no symptoms and yet be a carrier and spread to others.

With new stories emerging about the rapid spread of COVID-19, public health experts are now warning the public to stay inside even if they feel healthy. The reason? You may be an asymptomatic carrier.

“Asymptomatic transmission means you can be infected with the virus, have no symptoms and still be contagious,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News.

(Source)

There is another 13 days to go for the Phase 2 of the lock down to be done and over. Hopefully the number of new cases drops and number of recovered cases improves in the coming days and the lock down will not be extended further.

To be continued…

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