Let it not be said that a highly contagious and deadly virus ever stopped – quite – a few people from going out, no matter that with the movement control order (MCO) about, there’s not that many things to go out for, besides getting food, groceries and medicine as well as performing banking tasks, among others.

It seems that one can go out because, well, one can, as they please, and so far 11,017 people have paid the price for thinking just that. That’s the number of cumulative arrests that have been made for MCO-related offences up to yesterday (April 15).

A total of 1,315 individuals were arrested yesterday, of which 1,226 were remanded, while 89 were allowed to post bail, according to defence minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. The number of those detained on Wednesday more than doubled the arrests made the day before, when 612 people were arrested for MCO violations.

The arrest rate remains high, despite yesterday being the start of sterner action in which violators will now be remanded and charged in court instead of just being slapped with a RM1,000 compound fine. The government has announced that those who are sentenced for MCO offences will be detained at one of the prison department’s 13 academy premises.

Yesterday, adding to the 142 arrests made in Sarawak and 236 in Johor were 334 arrests in Petaling Jaya, with 221 of these heading to court. Probably the most novel of all arrests made yesterday was of the three men who were hauled up for indulging in a game of golf at a course in Batu Gajah. Spotting the police, the trio attempted to elude the cops by hightailing it in a buggy, but were subsequently detained, The Star reports.

Excuses at roadblocks continued to come thick and fast as well. In Serdang, district OCPD ACP Ismadi Borhan said police received all sorts of ridiculous reasons from those attempting to flout the ruling. “We had people telling us they wanted to go to the pawnshop, and a couple who said they wanted to go to Kampar to fetch their mother,” he said. Well, at least it has moved beyond sending a cake or watering the plants in the office.

One positive is that the the crime rate in Kuala Lumpur has dropped significantly since the MCO began. According to KL police chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim, the crime index in the city went down by 57.4% during the first phase of the MCO.

“During that period, violent crimes recorded a 62.8% drop, while property crimes showed a 55.5% decline,” he said via a statement. In phase two (from April 1 to 14), the rate went down to 63%, with violent crimes and property crimes droppping by 74.3% and 59% respectively.