FRUITS and vegetable sellers lauded the government’s efforts in looking out for traders’ safety by controlling the number of visitors to the Kuala Lumpur wholesale market in Batu Caves, Selangor.
This is despite having to cope with reduced manpower in each stall in light of the movement control order (MCO).
Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association president Wong Keng Fatt said each vegetable stall needed at least four people to load, unload and sort out the vegetables but traders would have to cope with a skeleton crew handling the responsibilities.
“We are definitely short-handed but since this is for everyone’s safety, we will comply.
“One stall is only allowed two foreign workers. The market used to operate 24 hours daily but is now restricted from 10am to 7pm, and midnight to 7am daily, ” he said.
Wong added that the association welcomed all government efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, including temperature scans and police roadblocks within the vicinity.
“We also hope the health authorities can help sanitise the market, ” he said.
At the market, the police were seen conducting roadblocks at two junctions while the army and the police patrolled at shoplots behind the market.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim had earlier said that the police was aware of viral news on the presence of many foreigners at the wholesale market.
“Since March 19, we have conducted two roadblocks to ensure people limit their movements in the area.
“Ten men are manning each roadblock and 138 police personnel are on duty in the area each day, ” he said.
DBKL Corporate Planning Department director Khairul Azmir Ahmad said despite putting up notices about the movement control order (MCO) in six languages, people were still stubborn.
“We even have DBKL enforcement officers patrolling the area every day and yet they do not want to follow instructions. It is not so hard. Just obey the rules and stay home!” he said.
Both Kuala Lumpur Vegetables Wholesalers Association deputy president Chong Tek Keong and Kuala Lumpur Fruits Wholesalers Association president N.M. Chin welcomed the move to check the temperature of foreign workers at the market.
The associations, however, want the temperature checks to be done frequently and to include screening each visitor to the market.
Chin said temperature checks should be done near the carpark and not only at the market’s entrance.
“The workers should also be told to practise social distancing while lining up for screening, ” she said.
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