Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) has begun Covid-19 mass testing of traders and workers in wet markets under its jurisdiction.
By next week, over 1,200 of them are expected to undergo swab tests to prevent the disease from spreading undetected and to ensure the safety of customers.
MPS president Shamsul Shahril Badliza Mohd Noor said there had been some challenges in getting traders and workers to turn up for the swab test.
“Some traders gave excuses that there would be no one to take care of their stall at the market, but we insisted that they come and take the test.
“We also discovered that some traders had hired illegal foreign workers, so they did not want to bring them for the tests.
“We know who these traders and workers are and we will take action together with the Immigration Department soon,” he said during the third round of testing traders at wet markets in Gombak.
About 170 traders from Pasar Selayang, Pasar Awam Moden Sri Gombak and Pasar Awam Moden Taman Ehsan were tested by Health Ministry staff, alongside front-line officers from the police, Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) and Welfare Department.
Shamsul said that in the first round of tests on May 8, all 335 traders at Pasar Awam Selayang Baru tested negative for the coronavirus.
“We are awaiting results for the second batch of traders from Pasar Awam Moden Rawang who were tested on May 13,” he said.
The final round of testing for traders from Pasar Awam Bandar Country Homes and Pasar Awan Batu Arang are expected to be carried out on May 19.
“We have also asked MPS councillors to be tested as they are in close contact with the public,” he said, adding that 300 MPS staff tested negative.
Besides screening, MPS has also been carrying out disinfection activities in the wet markets periodically since March 18.
“Each trader was given disinfection solutions to clean their stalls at the end of their business day.
“MPS officers are also stationed at each market to record the temperature of all market traders, workers and customers, and to ensure their hands are clean before they engage in buying and selling activities,” said Shamsul.
“Only one entrance will be open to control the number of visitors in the market, and markers on the ground ensure social distancing is observed,” he added.
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