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MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said 2,342 MBPP staff have been recalled to ensure that the city council services are uninterrupted from October 15 to 19 in preparation for the expected influx of visitors this weekend.  — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said 2,342 MBPP staff have been recalled to ensure that the city council services are uninterrupted from October 15 to 19 in preparation for the expected influx of visitors this weekend. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Oct 13 — The Penang Island City Council (MBPP) will be increasing surveillance and monitoring of tourist hotspots together with the police and state health department enforcement team this coming weekend to ensure visitors from other states strictly comply with Covid-19 SOPs.

MBPP Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said 2,342 MBPP staff have been recalled to ensure that the city council services are uninterrupted from October 15 to 19 in preparation for the expected influx of visitors this weekend. 

He said the lifting of interstate travel ban will mean an influx of visitors and Penangites, living in other states, who might be coming home this weekend. 

He said the state government had said it is expecting 50,000 visitors this weekend so the city council has to be prepared for this. 

“We will be checking popular hotspots together with the police and state health department to make sure that all premises and visitors complied with the SOPs, such as wearing of face masks and physical distancing,” he said.

He reminded all visitors that only those who are fully vaccinated are allowed to travel and enter most of the tourist attractions in the state. 

Yew said there are a total 3,019 staff in MBPP so almost 78 per cent will be on duty for the long weekend that extends to Tuesday which is a public holiday. 

“Others will be on standby just in case we need more staff on the ground,” he said. 

He said the MBPP staff will ensure that city council core services that encompass cleaning works, waste management and enforcement continue as usual.

He added that they will also be on standby to manage possible disasters such as flash floods, landslides and fallen trees especially with recent weather warnings of storms and rain in the state. 

“We have over 1,000 CCTVs in our intelligent operations centre to monitor the situation on the island over this long weekend,” he said. 

The MBPP hotline numbers 04-2637637 or 04-2637000 and WhatsApp number 016-2004082 will remain open 24 hours a day to receive any complaints. 

“We welcome visitors to Penang but we hope they will be vigilant and conduct self-tests before coming back or visiting their elderly relatives to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said.

He reminded the public that even fully vaccinated individuals can be susceptible to contract Covid-19 as in the recent epidemic week where out of the 13 Covid-19 cases in category three, four and five, 11 were those who were fully vaccinated. 

“We have to continue to be careful even if we are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yew said the total vaccination rate for MBPP staff is now at 98.35 per cent with 96.5 per cent who have received two doses. 

He said currently there are only seven active Covid-19 cases among the MBPP staff. 

A total 337 cases were reported among MBPP staff since the pandemic and Yew said the city council will continue to practise strict SOPs to protect its staff. 

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