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Thursday, 30 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 31/29 - Today's the Day?

| Day 44/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 31/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 31st day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

To recap Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association inform us that KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should by right be lifted today!

In a separate incident, yesterday a resident shared this news article in the residents’ chat group:

‘It’s a nightmare’: Resident quarantined in Malaysia’s COVID-19 red zone worried over access to healthcare, fresh food supplies

Apparently a resident Mel Youlanda (or her real name Meloni Mansah) witnessed her friend giving birth at the lobby of Menara City One last Sunday morning the 26th of April. She contends that her friend was denied appropriate medical attention, a serious allegation and right after the debacle concerning the mass Covid-19 screening of the Friday before.





She is not in the residents’ chat group and is therefore not aware of the agreed embargo on residents with regard to speaking to the press. Notwithstanding this, her allegations are serious enough to warrant breaching the agreed embargo.

At about 11.30am we heard an announcement over the loudspeaker from the 7th floor foyer area that a team from the Fire Department will be disinfecting the entire Menara City One.






Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further additional positive cases at Menara City One which remains at 55 cases.

It has been 22 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 30/29 - Anytime Now

| Day 43/56 of Malaysian MCO | Day 30/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 30th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

Yesterday Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association posted this blessed message on our residents' chat group:


Alleluia!


To recap KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should be lifted by 30th April!

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 55 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 3 weeks since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 29/29 - Good News at Last!

| Day 41/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 28/29 of City One EMCO |

Today is the 29th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference later in the afternoon.

It has been drizzling the whole morning since we woke up. The weather is somewhat gloomy yet calming, the dark clouds an ominous sign of things to come later in the afternoon, perhaps?

After all that has happened throughout the EMCO, we would like to clearly state that while we regret the misfortune that has befallen our home, never once have we regretted staying here at Menara City One:


the view each and every morning.. we wouldn't want it any other way!


Then at about 11am Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association posted this blessed message on our residents' chat group:


Alleluia!


In a gist KKM has:

  • decided against holding any further Covid-19 screenings
  • admitted the 2 suspected positive cases announced earlier were actually negative; therefore the total positive cases at City One is reduced to 51
  • recommended for EMCO to be lifted (but with possibly 2 extra days)
  • requested for us not to go to the press as DG has taken personal interest 

Therefore our EMCO should be lifted by 30th April!

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference there was not mention of Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 54 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 3 weeks since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 28/29 - A Recap

| Day 41/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 28/29 of City One EMCO |

After the intermittent rain throughout yesterday afternoon that lasted into the night, this morning was pleasantly cool and cosy. Today is the 28th day of the lock-down imposed on our condo, and we wait with pragmatic optimism the announcement on its fate during the Senior Minister (Defence) Press Conference tomorrow afternoon.

To recap the events of the past few days, the media outlets had first highlighted the plight of Menara City One residents who were subjected to mass screenings on the night of the 24th of April. In response to this The Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah blamed the congestion on the convergence of both residents of Blocks A and B coming down for screening at the same time.

The residents then sent out this press statement to all media outlets to refute the claims that last night's congestion were due to the residents of both blocks coming down for screening:



In response to the residents' press statement  the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah took to his Facebook account:

"It is indeed our concern of mass gathering where social distancing not being observed. MOH have instructed the State Health Director to work closely with the police, residents and management to better improve the implementation in future. Thank you to all residents in all MCO areas and buildings for your understanding, patience and cooperation."

During yesterday's press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also accepted Menara City One's residents' suggestion that future Covid-19 screenings be done floor-by-floor:




So there you have it, we are all caught up.

On a separate matter, today being a Monday we are expecting delivery of our groceries and provisions from Ben Leow later this morning.

At about 10am we received word from Ben that his delivery partner from Lalamove has just left his grocery shop with our items. Ben said the same driver from before, Gunaraj expects to arrive at our condo by 10.30am. This time armed with a proper trolley I went down alone to meet Gunaraj.


waiting patiently at the lobby


Approximately half an hour later Gunaraj arrived. Since Ben diligently separates dry from frozen items, Gunaraj again had to make two trips back and forth from his car to the lobby to collect two boxes. God bless you always Gunaraj (and Lalamove)!

As always as soon as I got home I proceeded to:

  • remove my gloves (using the pinch and hook method)
  • dispose my gloves and mask properly
  • spraynitised the trolley handle
  • remove all article of clothing, placed directly into the wash
  • had a thorough shower
  • spraynisited my IC, phone and glasses
  • then place my towel in the wash as well

We then inspected the items delivered and informed Ben that all the items ordered were present and accounted for, and thanked him for his help.

As always, a sealed polystyrene foam box filled with ice was used to pack all our frozen foods, and another sealed cardboard box  was used for the rest of the items. God bless you always Ben!

Anyone interested in arranging for delivery of groceries and provisions can reach out to Ben at +60125213577. You can find details of his grocery shop in a previous post.

Later at 2pm during Senior Minister (Defence)'s Press Conference it was announced that the EMCO on Simpang Renggam has been lifted. There was not mention about Menara City One's EMCO.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 53 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.




It has been 20 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 27/29 - A Little Quiet

| Day 40/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 27/29 of City One EMCO |

After the tumultuous events of the past 48 hours we hoped for a little peace and quiet on this fine Sunday morning. Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association had shared the following message at the residents' chat group which we received with mixed feelings:




While we were relieved that KKM will no longer be imposing their will on us and herd us around like cattle to slaughter in total disregard for our well-being and safety, we were also awash with a feeling of neglect and abandonment.

Then again, when we recall the events of the past 48 hours we were reminded of how we felt about KKM's  screening procedures: No matter. The damage is done. Hundreds of residents are potentially infected. Lifts and common areas contaminated. Our trust in KKM evaporated.

To recap, the media outlets had first highlighted the plight of Menara City One residents who were subjected to mass screenings on the night of the 24th of April. In response to this The Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah blamed the congestion on the convergence of both residents of Blocks A and B coming down for screening at the same time.

The residents then sent out this press statement to all media outlets to refute the claims that last night's congestion were due to the residents of both blocks coming down for screening:



In response to the residents' press statement  the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated this vide his Facebook account:

"It is indeed our concern of mass gathering where social distancing not being observed. MOH have instructed the State Health Director to work closely with the police, residents and management to better improve the implementation in future. Thank you to all residents in all MCO areas and buildings for your understanding, patience and cooperation."

In another development at about 3pm a resident shared at our residents' chat group a few photos of (presumably KKM) buses parked alongside Selangor Mansion and Malayan Mansion:




Selangor Mansion has been recorded an unhealthy growth for the past 3 days:

  • 22 cases reported on 23rd April 
  • 39 cases reported on 24th April 
  • 20 cases reported on 25th April

With these latest developments we now have little hope of the lock-down imposed on our condo being lifted on 28th April, since our condo (together with Selangor Mansion, Malayan Mansion and its surrounding vicinity) form part of the Masjid India area.

At 4.00pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced *1 additional positive case at Menara City One which now stands at 52 cases.

*according to Dr Eliza the positive case is from the cluster of  family members and housemates (estimated to be around 40 of them) of the 11 positive cases detected on 22nd April that were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined. The positive case is therefore not found among the existing residents of Menara City One.





During the same press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also accepted Menara City One's residents' suggestion that future Covid-19 screenings be done floor-by-floor.




It has been 19 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 26/29 - Complete Meltdown

| Day 39/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 26/29 of City One EMCO |

Our minds are in a blur. What we went through was surreal.

We picked up where we left off in the previous post.

After receiving notice of the impending visit by KKM and PDRM personnel for another round of screening last night we sat and waited with nervous anticipation although our turn would only be today.

At about 9.40pm last night our security officers announced the arrival of KKM and PDRM personnel through the residents' group chat, and we found a photo of one of the PDRM personnel brandishing a machine gun particularly ominous:





We were informed that the session last night would involve selected residents from Block A, from floors *8 to 30, while the remainder of the residents from floors 31 to 42 will be screened the following day, together with residents of Block B (where we live).

*Floors 1-2 are shop lots; Floors 3-6 are covered car parks whilst the 7th floor is the foyer and common area

This however was not the case. Reports began pouring in through our residents’ chat group that KKM and PDRM personnel were ordering all residents of Block A to submit themselves immediately for screening, all at once! That meant a thousand or more residents were expected to gather within the confined spaces of the 7th floor foyer area, all at once! What social distancing?






As you can imagine all 4 lifts servicing Block A were packed like sardines, as KKM and PDRM personnel continued their relentless rounding up of residents.






Things descending into mayhem soon enough, and a resident described the 7th floor foyer area as resembling a market and the residents treated like cattle being led to slaughter. Videos were shared by residents, including one taken by Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association herself at our residents’ chat group:






Dr Eliza kicked up a right fuss with the KKM personnel but to no avail. She took up her case directly with Dr Ghazali Chik, the Head of Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah (PKD) for Lembah Pantai and was given assurances that this hazardous handling of the screening process will not happen again the next time. There is a next time!? Dr Eliza was clearly upset with the large crowd that had gathered, and had a few choice words to describe KKM's handling of the screening session.






By 10pm last night the 7th floor foyer was absolutely filled to the rafters with distraught, dazed, and confused residents. Photos were shared by residents, including some taken by Dr Eliza herself at our residents’ chat group:







We also received reports of unruly behaviour on the part of KKM and PDRM personnel in handling the large crowd, and we ourselves heard the shouting and screaming from our unit. Dr Eliza took matters into her own hands and ordered all remaining residents of Block A not come to down since the situation at the 7th floor foyer area had grown extremely dangerous.

At the same time some residents of Block A continued to report to the residents' chat group that they were continually harassed by KKM and PDRM at their front door ordering them to go down to the 7th floor foyer area. Dr Eliza repeated her order to all remaining residents of Block A not come to down.

Some residents took to social media to highlight our plight, and one resident reported that as a result Malaysiakini had reached out to him and offered an opportunity for him to speak about the unfortunate events of the night. He promised to get back to them the following day as soon as he received our collective consent. We all gave him our blessing to talk to Malaysiakini. Dr Eliza too offered to speak to the media if needed be.

Other residents reached out to media outlets like Harian Metro and Sinar Harian for help, but we did not hear of any further developments.

As it approached midnight the crowd grew thin. Residents who did not venture down for fear of the large crowds as well as those sick and elderly began to make their way down only to find that KKM had packed their bags and left:







They came at about 9.40pm last night and left at 12.30am this morning, which is approximately 3 hours. They had set out to screen 1,000 residents from Block A and in the space of 3 hours that meant a rate of 5-6 residents per minute. How is that even humanly possible?

No matter. The damage is done. Hundreds of residents are potentially infected. Lifts and common areas contaminated. Our trust in KKM evaporated.

As we spent a sleepless night pondering about the reasons behind such rash and unruly behaviour, we stumbled upon a Facebook posting by a young pharmacist relating his involvement with the screening done at Menara City One.

We were intrigued by what he posted on his Facebook page: "Di saat semua berbuka puasa di rumah di samping keluarga, kami berbuka puasa dalam kereta." which roughly translates to "While everyone broke fast at home with their families we broke fast in the car." Could that be the reason for their resentment, and was that why they took it out on the residents of Menara City One? We might never know.

Our minds are in a blur. What we went through was surreal.

By the time we finish writing this it is daybreak of the following day. We desperately cling to these words: “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien. Just barely.

After a couple of hours sleep we awoke to find our plight highlighted by several media outlets.

【新冠肺炎】公寓检测没严守社交距离 官员安排10人共搭电梯

Fear and worry at Menara City One over Covid-19 screening procedure

Covid-19 Screenings Done Poorly by MOH, Claims Residents at Menara City One

Menara City One residents claim Covid-19 tests poorly managed




At 4.00pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further positive cases at Menara City One which remains at 51 cases.




When asked by reporters later, he blamed the congestion on the convergence of both residents of Blocks A and B coming down for screening at the same time.




A press statement that Dr Eliza diligently prepared was send out to all media outlets to refute the claims that last night's congestion was due to the residents of both blocks coming down for screening:



Menara City One residents refute Health DG’s explanation on ‘congested’ testing procedure

Condo residents deny crowding at Covid-19 tests due to Block B residents

There was no mixup, Menara City One residents tell health DG

Menara City One residents accuse Health Ministry of recklessness, deny occupants came down on their own

In response to the residents' press statement  the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah responded vide his Facebook account:

"It is indeed our concern of mass gathering where social distancing not being observed. MOH have instructed the State Health Director to work closely with the police, residents and management to better improve the implementation in future. Thank you to all residents in all MCO areas and buildings for your understanding, patience and cooperation."




Health DG: Comms breakdown led to crowded mass testing at Menara City One

It has been 18 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 25/29 - A New Hope

| Day 38/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 25/29 of City One EMCO |

It is a period of civil war between the seen and the unseen. Residents of Menara City One, hunkered and hidden in their own units, have won their first victory against the evil Coronavirus. For yesterday Menara City One registered no new positive cases.

For the uninitiated (read: non-nerds) the paragraph above is an adaptation of the opening credits to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Rather then dwell on the setbacks and defeats of the past few days we choose to focus on the positives, and celebrate the small victories. May the force be with us all!

Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.  It is a time when our Muslim brothers and sisters focus on prayer, fasting, giving to charity, and religious devotion. We would therefore like to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a blessed Ramadan and hope that it will be the start of the first of many victories against the evil Coronovirus.

In the continuous fight against the evil Coronavirus the government has announced the extension of the MCO for the 3rd time until 12th May.

MCO extended 2 weeks to May 12




While there is no word on the EMCO imposed on Menara City One we are all collectively hoping and praying to be released from the barbed wires that surround our home by 28th April.

Our resident's chat group has also fallen silent but for the occasional message of well wishes to those fasting today. After the trials and tribulations of the past few days we were glad things have settled down and the heated exchanges from before have been long forgotten.

In the meantime, life must go on and we placed a fresh order for groceries and provisions with Ben Leow. If all goes well we should receive our supplies Monday morning.

Later in the day another round of disinfecting was done, mainly at the 7th floor foyer area. Since our floor was not involved we believe this exercise was also confined to and focused on the affected units involving the 11 positive cases of a few days ago:









We will keep in mind these words as we do battle against the evil Coronavirus: “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien.

At 4.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further positive cases at Menara City One which remains at 51 cases.




Late in the afternoon and in the spirit of Ramadan we placed an order for 25 packets of Nasi Lemak through Grabfood. These packets of Nasi Lemak were meant for the entire security officers of Menara City One, as well as the team of cleaners who have been working tireless during these difficult times.




What with it being the first day of fasting as well we hope that this small token of appreciation would spur on our security officers and cleaners.

It has been 17 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.

Later in the evening we received a notice from Dr Eliza, a resident and committee member of the Residents' Association that a second round of PCR screenings will commence tonight at 9pm:




We are scheduled to be screened tomorrow, and hope for the best!

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Menara City One EMCO: Day 24/29 - Despondence and Despair

| Day 37/42 of Malaysian MCO | Day 24/29 of City One EMCO |

That sinking feeling at the pit of our stomachs that manifested yesterday continues to fester and feed our feeling of despondence and despair as we watched in horror this video shared at our residents’ group chat:





If a busload of patients were taken away from Menara City One two days ago, yesterday it was 2 busloads worth! This time however, nothing much is known about the number of patients and which unit they resided in. We guess we will have to wait for the Health Ministry Director-General's daily press conference later in the day to find out more.

We later learnt of a twist in the plot! In a further development relayed through the residents’ chat group it seems the 2 busloads were meant for residents of Menara City One living in the same units as the 11 positive cases detected the day before. 

The family members and housemates of each patient tested positive (estimated to be around 40 of them) were taken away by KKM to an undisclosed location in Setiawangsa to be quarantined, while each affected unit undergoes extensive disinfecting. We do not know what fate lies ahead for the family members and housemates of each patient tested positive once the quarantine period is over.







If the EMCO on Menara City One is still imposed by then (which we believe is highly likely given the present situation) they would certainly not be allowed back into their respective units.

There is talk that one of the 11 patients tested positive hid himself from KKM personnel during the first round of screening. He was tested the second time around and found positive. He has put the residents of his unit as well as his entire floor at risk. And yes, he is a migrant covidiot; but no, we will not rant.

The residents' chat group was alive with activity the entire morning. Some feared the long we stayed locked down the greater the chance of infection, since they believed there could still be some migrant covidiots hiding in their unit refusing to submit for screening.

The have even gone to the extent of suggesting a vigilante squad to check each unit one by one. Oh my, what a great idea. Let's help to spread the virus even faster. Whatever measures taken will be futile, since these migrant covidiots will not show themselves until and unless compelled to do so by the armed forces.

Others have been pushing for the negative tested residents to be allowed to leave the condo. While the well-to-do residents have other homes that they can go to, we believe the vast majority do not have this luxury. Jumping ship is not something we can subscribe to, unfortunately.

Our suggestion to end the stalemate would involve the concerted efforts of the KKM, PDRM and ATM to re-visit the list of so-called 115 vacant units one by one to determine if it is indeed vacant.

  • If in doubt, break into these units to make sure
  • If there are residents in hiding perform the rapid test kit screening on them there and then
  • If found positive then proceed with the PCR testing
  • Then take the lot of them away to be quarantined somewhere else
  • Thoroughly disinfect their units and the surrounding areas
  • Publish the list of units so that other residents in the vicinity can take extra precautions

Only then will we be certain that all residents have been screened.

With all that is happening around us we remain thankful for what we have, as we reflect on the misfortune of others especially the poor souls trapped in Taman Sri Murni:




At about 2pm we heard an announcement made by the condo security officers over a loudspeaker asking all residents who have yet to be screened to come down to the 7th floor foyer area to be tested. KKM has a list of persons listed as residing in our condo but with no further details such as contact numbers as well as unit numbers, and these persons have so far managed to evade screening:




And yes, they are all migrant covidiots (the list refers to only passport numbers, not IC numbers); but no, we will not rant.

An hour later we heard another announcement made by the condo security officers over a loudspeaker asking all Pakistani nationals to come down to the 7th floor foyer area to collect their food rations. Unlike the orderly manner in which the food rations were distributed earlier in the week this time the distribution process went awry with the unruly crowd completely ignoring pleas to observe social distancing:




One meter between them? We think not. As one resident commented in the residents' chat group: "They like barbarian at this moment (sic), unstoppable". And again yes, they are all migrant covidiots; but no, we will still not rant.

We will continue to cling to this quote for as long as we can: “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien.

At 5.30pm today during his daily press conference the Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced no further positive cases at Menara City One which remains at 51 cases.




It has been 16 days since we were PCR tested, and we assume that our results are negative. We ask that everyone we know to pray for our continued health, safety and well-being.