KUANTAN, May 28 — Interstate travel and mass gatherings held in blatant disregard of the standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of COVID-19 are the two largest contributors to the increase of positive cases of coronavirus in Pahang, State Health director Datuk Dr Bahari Che Awang Ngah said.
He said it was found that some people had even held wedding receptions, tahlil prayers or birthday celebration during the March school holiday while the state was under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
“Some even gathered before/after prayers or religious activities which eventually caused the spread of the disease despite being aware of the SOP for all those activities,” he told Bernama here today.
He said the ngeteh (hanging out at coffee shops) activity had also contributed to the spread of the coronavirus as those involved would engage in close conversation without their face masks.
“The same goes for interstate travel. Some travelled to other states and brought the virus home. If it was for work purposes, it shouldn’t be a problem, but there were many still shaking hands with people coming from red zones,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Pahang stood at 8,649, with 6,930 recoveries and 52 deaths.
He said it was hoped that the daily tally would drop over the next two weeks following the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) currently in force in most areas in Kuantan, Bera, Temerloh, Jerantut and Raub.
In a statement, he said the positive cases of COVID-19 in Kuantan had increased to an average of 80 to 100 cases per day since the second day of Aidilfitri (May 14) from less than 10 cases in early March.
He said most of the cases involved the existing active clusters and symptomatic close contacts.
“Symptomatic cases have potential to infect more people due to high infectivity rate, especially in cases of late detection and quarantine.
“Almost all localities in Kuantan have reported active cases now, which prompted the EMCO to be enforced there,” he said.