Test us all for virus, say PJ Old Town market traders

Some traders at the Jalan Othman market in Petaling Jaya are upset over the authorities’ decision to refuse them Covid-19 tests following the market’s closure after a fishmonger there tested positive.

Only seafood and food stall traders were tested by the Petaling District Health Office, causing uneasiness among the rest who felt the authorities should be more mindful of their health.

Petaling District Officer Johary Anuar said the district health office decided that only those who were in close contact with the infected fishmonger would be tested.

He said those who have symptoms of the disease should first fill up an online form by the Taman Medan health clinic at https://bit.ly/2y35hll.

“Based on the data given, the clinic will decide if a person should be tested, ” he said.

Excluded: Petaling District health officers listening to Jalan Othman market traders who are objecting to being left out of the group sent for Covid-19 test. — S.S.KANESAN/The StarExcluded: Petaling District health officers listening to Jalan Othman market traders who are objecting to being left out of the group sent for Covid-19 test. — S.S.KANESAN/The Star

The market, also known as PJ Old Town market, has been shut since Monday until further notice for health screening and disinfection works.

Pork seller Lee H.K, 52, said he was disappointed by the decision to only test traders from the seafood and the food stall section.

“In the Taman Megah market, all the traders and their assistants were tested and the same was done at Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur in Selayang. Why can’t all of us be tested here too?” said Lee.

He added that he did not receive any letter from the authorities to attend the testing session but turned up at the market yesterday because he assumed tests would be carried out for all traders and their assistants.

Vegetable seller Wong Fee Heng, 74, who operates with the help of three assistants at the market, faced the same dilemma.

None of them was tested despite turning up yesterday.

“It is expensive to do testing privately for my staff and I.

“I am old and I think I should be tested, ” said Wong.

Sri Bayu, a grocery shop assistant said she and her shop owner were also both turned down for Covid-19 testing.

They later proceeded to the Klinik Kesihatan Taman Medan to be screened but were told to return to the market.

“We are not sure why we are not being tested for the disease, ” she told StarMetro.

Meanwhile, a vegetable seller’s assistant wished to be known as Abdul Halim, 28, said he was worried that if he goes untested and has the virus, he may pass it on to the older customers.

Johary said 118 market traders and their assistants were tested for Covid-19 yesterday outside the Jalan Othman market, along with 17 cleaners and 16 council officers.

The tests results will be known after 48 hours. The market has about 500 traders in total.

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