Even though the country is experiencing the third wave of COVID-19 infections, many still continue to defy directives as 979 individuals were held yesterday for breaching the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Of the total, he said, 516 were detained for not keeping physical distance, which was the main offence, 277 failed to provide the tools or record personal details and 163 for not wearing face masks.

“In addition, for operating beyond stipulated business hours (10), pub and nightclub activities (seven), premises operating without a licence (two), violating quarantine order (two), refusing to undergo COVID-19 screening (one) and leaving a targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) area without permission (one),” he said in a statement today.

Of the total detained, 944 individuals were issued with compounds, 32 were remanded while the rest were released on bail.

On Ops Benteng, Ismail Sabri said 48 foreigners, two boat skippers and four smugglers were nabbed.

He said 101 Ops Benteng roadblocks were mounted yesterday involving the police, the Border Security Agency (AKSEM) and the Armed Forces (MAF).

“The government will take stern action against anyone who tries to enter the country’s borders illegally and the enforcement agencies will continue to tighten controls especially at the rat trails,” he said.

Meanwhile, from July 24 to yesterday, 38,321 individuals have returned through the international entrance and all have been placed in 66 hotels and 11 other premises including public training institutes and private educational institutions.

He added that of the total, 8,698 individuals were undergoing mandatory quarantine, 106 have been sent to hospitals for treatment and another 29,517 individuals have been discharged and allowed to return home.

The individuals had returned from 33 countries namely the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Laos, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Taiwan, China, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, Spain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.