KUALA LUMPUR: Seventeen people who failed to put on a face mask were among 182 arrested yesterday for violating the standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Action against those flouting the face mask rule has become a contentious issue after a video, showing police issuing a compound to a teenager for pulling down his mask momentarily while waiting for a train, went viral.
It drew criticisms for the lack of compassion and understanding shown by the authorities and for unfair enforcement of the rule, given that VIPs have been let off the hook for similar transgressions.
Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) said yesterday that among the others caught, 11 had been at a karaoke joint that was operating without a licence and 100 were in large crowds where social distancing was impossible.
Of the 182 arrested, 18 have been remanded, two were released on bail and the rest were issued compounds.
Ismail Sabri said that in addition to those held, action had been taken against two persons for breaching the home quarantine order.
As of July 24, a total of 9,984 individuals who had returned to Malaysia from abroad had been directed to go under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at 61 hotels and five public training institutes nationwide.
This was in line with the government’s move to revert to its policy of not allowing returnees to undergo home quarantine.
Ismail Sabri said, 20 of the returnees were sent to a hospital after they tested positive for Covid-19.
He added that 2,200 have since been discharged and allowed to return home.