KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — More than 10,000 policemen, including officers, have been placed under quarantine, with at least 200 of them undergoing treatment after being confirmed positive for COVID-19 infection, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said the high rate of infection among policemen, being them as frontliners and closest to the public, is hampering the ability and strength of the police in performing their duties.
“The spread of COVID-19 epidemic is becoming more worrying and many frontliners have been exposed to the risk of infecting the disease.
“Although they (police) wear face masks, the job requires policemen to communicate with the people at close range. Social distancing cannot be applied in ensuring peace and order in the country,” he said in a statement today.
Hamzah said there are also policemen assigned to assist the immigration authorities to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country.
“Through Ops Benteng conducted between May 1 and Oct 18, the security forces have detained 497 illegal immigrants and 28 tekong (agents) who attempted to enter and leave the country through Sarawak,” he said.
As such, he called on Malaysians to appreciate the sacrifices of the frontliners and together heed the call by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to fight against COVID-19.
He said the highest appreciation should be accorded to the frontiners who had been working tirelessly since the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Many of them have not taken a break from work or spent time with their families. We are running out of time, and now is not the time to play politics or lobby for support for certain individuals to become the Prime Minister,” he added.