Move to ease traders plight

Markets in Johor can reopen but traders and visitors must strictly comply with the MCO SOP. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: The Johor government is allowing all farmers and public markets, morning and night markets as well as Bazar Karat (second-hand goods market) to reopen immediately, with the standard operating procedures (SOP) in place to contain Covid-19 transmission.

State housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said in a statement that the markets, however, would be ordered shut by local authorities in the event of local transmissions of Covid-19.

He said this action would be taken upon the advice of the respective district health offices.

He stressed that the authorities could immediately shut down traders who failed to comply with the SOP set by Health Ministry (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN), or if the condition in the market was deemed to be uncontrolled.

He said the SOP included wearing face mask, recording body temperature, ensuring the market was located in an open and gated area (or with barriers) to facilitate entry and exit control as well as ensuring the stalls were situated between 1.5m and 2m apart from one another.

“Traders and visitors must also register via the MySejahtera application to enable MOH to conduct contact tracing in the event infections are detected, ” he added.

Ayub said the decision to reopen markets was made in a meeting involving MKN, Johor local government secretariat, state health department, Johor police and several local councils.

“The state government is aware of the plight of the public, especially that of traders and small businesses affected by the MCO.

“As such, we have evaluated the situation and made a decision to ensure the group will be able to continue making a living, ” he said.

Ayub said the number of markets ordered to close previously by Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) was 50 night markets and 16 morning markets while Kulai Municipal Council (MPKu) had ordered 10 night markets, two morning markets, two farmers markets and two public markets to close.

It was reported that outdoor markets and trading sites within the MBJB areas, including Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority markets, were ordered to temporarily cease operations starting Oct 16 while Pasir Gudang Municipal Council made a similar announcement that came into effect on Oct 12.

Johor Baru Malay Hawker, Trader and Small Industry Entrepreneurs Association secretary Mohammad Salezan Mohd Salleh, when contacted, expressed gratitude to the state government for taking heed of their grievances and pledged to ensure members complied with the SOP.

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