GEORGE TOWN: Penang police have resorted to more drastic action against errant motorists who continue to ignore the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Over the past 24 hours, five people have been detained for not complying with the stay-at-home order and for obstructing a public servant from carrying out his duties.
State police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abdul Manan told the New Straits Times that there had been an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads yesterday and today.
He said about 50 per cent of motorists checked were asked to turn back after they failed to provide valid reasons for leaving their homes.
"Based on our checks, there are still people driving around with no reason at all. This is one of the challenges we are facing as the people are still ignorant to the dangers of Covid-19.
"Some motorists stopped could not provide any reason for leaving their houses. Others told police that they were out to get food while some said they had hospital visits. For these people, we asked them to turn back provided they produced their hospital appointment cards.
"From now on, we will take stern action by arresting errant motorists in line with instructions by the Inspector-General of Police. We are not going to merely 'advice' them anymore," he warned.
Police have set up 34 road blocks statewide as opposed to 24 road blocks when the MCO first started on March 18.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the MCO would be extended for another two weeks until April 14.
Sahabudin said for those with valid reasons and those in the essential service and businesses were allowed to pass through the road blocks without much hassle.
"My advice to the people of Penang is to strictly observe the MCO. Please stay at home.
"If you have to go out with valid reasons, then make sure to practice social distancing," he said.