PETALING JAYA: Despite the announcement that putting on face masks would be mandatory from Saturday, a total of 127 people were arrested for violating the new rule on the day it was enforced.
They were among 315 individuals arrested that day for breaching the standard operating procedure (SOP) under the recovery movement control order (RMCO), Senior Ministry (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement today.
Three of those arrested have been remanded and the others have been issued compounds.
Apart from those held for failing the wear a face mask, 38 were arrested for violating other conditions in the SOP and another 150 for being present at large gatherings where social distancing is impossible.
All the arrests were made when various enforcement agencies conducted 63,473 checks across the country. In all, 3,821 supermarkets, 5,545 restaurants, 1,954 hawkers, 1,326 factories, 3,602 banks and 820 government offices were checked.
Ismail had, on July 23, announced that the government had made it mandatory for all to wear face masks while in public areas and public transportations beginning August.
He had said that the decision was made in view of the increasing number of new Covid-19 cases in the past weeks due to public non-compliance of government SOP.
Separately, Ismail said action was taken against 28 individuals on Saturday for failing to adhere to their home quarantine SOP.
The senior minister however did not specify what the offences were, although it has been previously mentioned that those on home quarantine are not allowed to even leave their rooms and must undergo a second Covid-19 screening on the 13th day.
According to Ismail, the authorities found out about the violations in checks conducted on 2,263 individuals who have been placed on 14-day home quarantine nationwide.
Meanwhile, Ismail said from July 24 to Aug 1, a total of 4,286 Malaysians have returned home from abroad and placed in designated quarantine centres gazetted by the government, 13 of whom have since been sent to hospital for treatment.
Previously, the government had allowed returnees from abroad to undergo their mandatory isolation at home, provided they abided by all the guidelines and requirements.
However, due to a spike in the number of cases, the government has since required all returnees to be quarantined at specific centres, and that only those already performing home quarantine would be allowed to continue doing so until the end of their 14 days isolation.