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Tuesday 31 March 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 01/14 - Making Sense of Things

| Day 14/28 of Malaysian MCO | Day 01/14 of City One EMCO |

We woke up to the MCO announcement blaring from a loudspeaker across our condo. The announcements were made in several languages besides English and Bahasa Melayu, for the benefit of the large migrant community residing in our condo.

We spent a largely sleepless night bemoaning the fate of our condo. It was officially announced yesterday that Menara City One will be placed under lockdown.

Day 1 of the Menara City One EMCO looked like this:

The EMCO has been implemented to: "membendung jangkitan COVID-19 daripada menular keluar. Langkah ini akan membolehkan aktiviti pengesanan kes dari unit ke unit dilaksanakan sepanjang tempoh 14 hari." With that in mind we waited in anxious anticipation throughout the day for the KKM saringan team to visit our unit.

Sure enough, a young doctor visited our unit at approximately 4:30pm armed only with a form.

No cotton swab was in sight, and we were merely asked about our personal details and contact number. We asked if we could conduct the interview behind the comfort of our grille, and he said he was fine with that. He also agreed that we not hand him our ICs, but to merely hold it up so that he could jot down the pertinent details.

He seemed relieved that we were Malaysians, and remarked that he had an hard time dealing with the vast majority of residents in our condo who spoke very little English, and no command of Bahasa Melayu at all. We asked him what will become of the fate of migrants living here without any identification document; he gave us a wry smile and said it would be beyond him, and it would then be the duty of the PDRM to handle them (undocumented migrants).

He then sheepishly asked if we had been to the surau lately; to which we responded no, we are Chinese and Christians at that. Our answer seemed to give him even more relief, although we had no idea why. He looked tired and harried, and we thanked him profusely for doing his job.

We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Monday 30 March 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 00/14 - Descending Into Chaos!

| Day 13/28 of Malaysian MCO | Day 00/14 of City One EMCO |

We had done our grocery shopping the night before. It was a day like any other day since the Government implemented the MCO. Then at about 6pm our neighbour sent us several photos and videos of the PDRM, army and KKM swarming our condo. A perimeter around our condo was established and we learnt later that the MKN had put us under complete lockdown from 31st March onwards, till 13th April.

Words could not begin to describe our feelings at the time. Panic, anxiety, fear, anger, shock, and a host of other emotions washed over us at the time. Yet at the back of our minds we could not help but feel relieved that we had stocked up the day before. It was as though an angel from heaven had whispered in my ear the night before to make a trip to LuLu, just across our condo.

We have often wondered about the word 'surreal'. Even the word itself seemed surreal to us, an alien sensation. Until of course, being placed under the EMCO. The swirl of commotion around our condo left us giddy and breathless!

Our friend who works with the condo management office (COMC) said that EMCO was declared after:

  • 15 COVID-19 positive cases were detected in Block B (where we live!)
  • 2 COVID-19 positive cases were detected in Block A

All were attributed to the Tablighi Jama’at gathering at the Masjid Jamek in Seri Petaling! Soon as the EMCO was declared several ‘saringan’ (filtering) teams from the KKM went to the affected units to perform contact tracing. From what we know the affected units were on the 20th, 22nd, 25th, 29th, 30th and 31st floors of our Block B.

All through the night we kept watching one newsreel after another:

God have mercy on our souls, and we ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.