GEORGE TOWN: It is the fourth day of the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO) period, but crowds are still thronging the city’s Air Itam area in large numbers.
Checks by the New Straits Times between 8am and 8.30am today found vehicles parked haphazardly by the roadside here, and members of the public jostling in the market area, purchasing goods.
The area was so packed with people, who spilled onto surrounding roads, that vehicular traffic moved at a slow pace.
Nevertheless, fewer traders were seen selling their wares at roadside stalls compared to normal.
And roughly eight out of 10 people sighted were wearing face masks.
Despite this, the required one-metre social distance gap was impossible to observe.
Police were also seen making rounds and warning people using loud hailers not to gather and to leave the area once their purchases are made.
One market-goer, David Choon, in his early 60’s, said that he was there only to buy packed food.
“I have no intention of staying here too long. It is crowded.
“Compared to a few days ago, today seems much better, with people wearing masks and moving instead of staying there,” he added.
Images of the crowded Air Itam area are making rounds on social media, and netizens are raising alarm bells over the public’s flouting of MCO guidelines.
MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said yesterday that his enforcement team will continue patrolling the area, and if traders continue to flout the MCO, their business licences could be revoked.
The 14-day MCO began on Wednesday and will last until March 31 nationwide to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.