Call to cancel Ramadan bazaars to stop spread

Thousands of customers patronise Ramadan bazaars and this could lead to many people being infected with Covid-19. - Filepic A lot of people visiting Bazaar Ramadan to buy foods for breaking fast at Taman Adda Height, Johor Baru. Pic by ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG/The Star

JOHOR BARU: Organisers of Ramadan bazaars in Johor are urged to consider cancelling or postponing them due to Covid-19.

Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said even though the popular bazaars during the fasting month provided opportunities for traders to make extra money, they should think of the consequences.

He said the well-being of the public should not be compromised as the bazaars could be the perfect spots for Covid-19 infections among more people.

“Thousands of customers patronise the bazaars daily during Ramadan and the situation could be dangerous, ’’ said Md Salleh.

He hoped the state government would issue a directive to cancel this year’s Ramadan bazaars if the pandemic was not contained at the start of the fasting month on April 24.

Md Salleh said even confirmed umrah (minor pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia were put on hold.

“This year’s Hajj season is still uncertain amid fears the congregation of over two million Muslims from all over the world will cause more infections, ’’ he said.

Leasing executive Siti Suriani Jemal concurred with Md Salleh that the authorities should cancel Ramadan bazaars in Johor this year.

She said while the organisers and traders of the bazaars might miss the opportunity to make money, they should think of the safety of others.

“Traders are also at risk of getting infected, ’’ said Siti Suriani.

She said the Ramadan bazaars in Johor Baru also attracted Singaporeans, especially on weekends and long public holidays, and that the situation could get worse as the republic was also grappling with Covid-19 outbreak.

Housewife Hamedah Mokhtar hoped the authorities would make a quick decision on the Ramadan bazaars.

“We only have about a month from now. I believe some traders have paid rentals for the temporary stalls at the bazaars, ’’ she said.

Retiree A. Madhavan said he would miss buying a wide range of food at the bazaars if they were cancelled this year.

“Some of the food sold at the bazaars is only available during Ramadan, ’’ he said.

Madhavan said the bazaars attracted not only Muslims but non-Muslims as well.

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