KUANTAN: The bustling streets and food outlets here became unusually quiet in five districts in Pahang today.
Compared to the first three days of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the fourth day today saw less movement of people in the state capital, with significant drop in vehicles along its main roads including Jalan Teluk Sisek, Jalan Besar, Jalan Mahkota and Jalan Kuantan-Gambang.
Only a handful of food outlets were open with majority of the workers seated outside waiting for customers to place their orders for takeaways while at some premises food delivery riders were spotted waiting to collect packed food for deliveries.
A restaurant helper, only identified as Abdullah, said food orders had dropped compared to the first two days of MCO and with the latest ruling to close businesses by 7pm will certainly see a further decline in customers.
"Most food outlets can only prepare breakfast and lunch, and no more serving dinner until March 31. However, we cannot complain as people's health remains a priority and we have to adhere to the order by the government.
"Starting today, there will be no reason for people to go out at night. All food outlets and supermarkets will be closed.....there will be a lot of explaining to do if one is caught outside at night," he said.
A 24-hour convenience store worker said they had been instructed to close business at 7pm and only reopen at 7am tomorrow.
"Customers especially youths will come late at night to buy cigarettes, instant noodles and drinks ... looks like they will now have to remain at home or buy the items much earlier. These days many customers walk-in to buy face masks and hand sanitisers," he said.
On Thursday, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail announced that all businesses, including 24-hour convenience stores in five districts – Kuantan, Pekan, Jerantut, Bentong and Temerloh – must close from 7pm to 7am as an additional measure to curb the Covid-19 outbreak in the state.
He said the order was implemented in Cameron Highlands on March 18, while businesses in the remaining five districts begin their new operating hours today.
State police chief Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan urged people living in the five districts to provide their cooperation to the authorities and adhere to the additional orders by remaining at home.