Seven men in Penang arrested for playing football, jogging during MCO

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GEORGE TOWN (March 26): Seven men were arrested at a public field in Pulau Tikus here today for violating the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Northeast District Police chief ACP Soffian Santong said in the 6.30pm incident, police personnel who were patrolling the area saw six men playing football while another was jogging at the field before advising them to disperse and return home.

"However, some of them refused and told the police that they were just exercising and not simply gathering. Following that, the police detained the seven men for defying the MCO," he said here tonight.

He said all men in their 20s were detained for further investigation under Section 186 of the Penal Code and Rule 7 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases 2020.

In another development, Soffian denied a viral message claiming a man infected with COVID-19 had escaped from the Penang Hospital (HPP) while receiving treatment there.

"The police investigation found that the viral message was fake and the man whose name was mentioned in the message had also lodged a police report denying the fact he was infected with COVID-19 or ever received treatment at HPP," he said.

Soffian said police were conducting further investigations including locating the person who spread the fake message, and the case was being investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

A viral message doing the rounds since yesterday claimed that a 36-year-old man living in Taman Nusantara here had escaped from the hospital at 3.50 pm, and urged the public to be cautious as he was still believed to be infected with the virus.