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GERIK, May 16 -- The 680 individuals quarantined at the Pengkalan Hulu MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) here due to the Enhanced Movement Control Order (MCO) were not given any Hari Raya Aidilfitri delicacies from outside because only food from appointed suppliers is allowed to prevent food poisoning.
Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad said the cooked food suppliers appointed by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) were responsible for ensuring nutritious and safe food for all the students and teachers involved in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP).
“We fear that if outside food is allowed and food poisoning occurs, how are we to know the cause? Whether it is from the food provided by the appointed suppliers or from outside?
"I understand many people want to give alms by sending pulut (glutinous rice), lemang and so on but I apologise because all the food they want to bring in must be sent to the Disaster Operations Control Centre (PKOB) first to ensure the food is safe for consumption," he said.
He told this to reporters during a visit today to the Local Control Centre (PKTK) at the MRSM, which was placed under a 14-day EMCO from the first day of Aidilfitri (May 13). Also present were the District Police Chief DSP Zulkepli Ibrahim and Pengkalan Hulu State Assemblyman Datuk Aznel Ibrahim.
Social media sites were abuzz that students at the MRSM were not given any special Hari Raya food since the first day of the Aidilfitri celebration and that the food they received were allegedly of poor quality.
Saarani added that today's visit, which included State Secretary Datuk Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim, National Security Council (MKN) director for Perak, Khairul Ridzuan Mat Said, and Perak Education, Higher Education and Human Resources Committee chairman Ahmad Saidi Mohammad Daud, was aimed at giving the true picture on the situation.
He advised the public not to misuse social media to spread untrue information as this would cause worry among parents and families of the students at the college and added that appropriate action was being taken to treat those infected with COVID-19 and protect those found negative based on screening tests.
In the meantime, Saarani said a meeting held at the district office this morning decided to tighten the SOP for the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the Pengkalan Hulu district to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to the community outside the college.
"Reports from the Perak State Health Department show that it will be more difficult to control if it happens outside than inside the MRSM, which can be controlled because it is gated and guarded. So that's why we decided to tighten the SOP for this district," he said.
He said the state government would issue several SOPs such as ensuring that there is no cross-district activities unless there are important matters, shortening business hours to prevent people from being out for too long, as well as increasing enforcement to ensure physical distancing.
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