The man who was brought to tears after noticing a vaccine queue snaking outside a hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning has taken it upon himself to try and fix the situation.
Shakib Samsudin, who runs an online tuition platform, last night brought 100 traffic cones as well as tapes outside Grand Seasons to act as social distancing markers for those queuing for vaccines. Earlier that day, the couple shared videos of long and crammed queues in the area that ended up going viral across the internet.
“There are 100 cones; it is quite far, about 300m. Staff is using tape to create distancing markers on the floor after the bend. Malaysia needs to win, Malaysia will win (the war against COVID),” Shakib was heard saying on Instagram stories, where he shared clips of his employees helping him to paste tapes and place cones along the side of the road. He even bought face masks, gloves, and personal protective equipment for those who came out to help him, he said.
Shakib and his wife said online yesterday morning that they were on their way to get breakfast when they saw the long queue of people standing close to one another outside the Grand Seasons vaccination center, which was managed by the Rumah Prihatin care home. The scene made Shakib tear, especially after having lost his father-in-law to COVID-19 recently.
The care home has since clarified that the huge turnout was a result of a misunderstanding that the center was welcoming walk-ins for non-citizens. Only senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those from marginalized and vulnerable groups were allowed walk-ins.
“At the initial stage, we took action with the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to disperse the crowd but they refused to budge despite being given warnings. However, the situation was eventually brought under control with the help of police and DBKL,” the care home said in a statement.
It added: “We regret what happened and will further improve compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure this incident does not recur.”
Police claimed that they took immediate action after videos of the queue went viral. They did not comment on the couple being told off by police on the ground for filming the scene.
“The compliance team managed to control the situation at the center until the vaccination program was completed,” said Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Noor Dellhan Yahaya.
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