Calm response to restrictions

Customers and traders seen obeying the face mask ruling at the Air Itam market.

IT was business as usual at local markets on the first day of the conditional movement control order (MCO) in Penang.

Over at the Ayer Itam market, fish seller Chong Juang Foon, 51, said she has ample supply of fish and replenishes it daily.

“On Sunday, I noticed more people were buying fish and doing their marketing.

“I guess since it was the day before the conditional MCO was enforced, people wanted to do last-minute shopping and stock up.

“I am not too worried about there being fewer people during the conditional MCO as everyone needs to replenish supplies every few days.

“We get our fish locally and therefore, I should not have a problem with the daily supply, ”she said when met at her stall yesterday.

Vegetable seller Lim Chi Yong, 35, said it was the usual Monday crowd at the market.

“There are always fewer people on Mondays as people usually do their marketing on the weekends.

“I get my vegetables from Cameron Highlands and I have been informed that there will be no problems with the delivery of vegetables during the conditional MCO period.

“Usually, people do not buy extra vegetables as they easily perish, ’’ he added.

Yeow Chim Chim, 51, a vegetable seller at the Jelutong market, said there was a huge crowd at the market on Sunday compared to Monday.

“I guess many stocked up for the whole week as people do not want to come out unnecessarily.

“I am not worried about the supply of my vegetables as I have been assured that I will get my daily goods.

“The public do not need to worry as well, ” he said.

Ooi Cheng Kin, 67, who sells seafood there, said weekdays would usually see a smaller crowd.

“This is the usual crowd.

“It will pick up on the weekend.

“As long as everyone is wearing a mask and practising social distancing, there should be no problem.

“I get my supplies from the island and mainland and when I checked with my suppliers on possible shortage or issues with the delivery, I was assured that there will be no problems and that my supply will arrive as usual, ’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry Penang director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar said they had conducted inspections on supplies and basic necessities at hypermarkets and supermarkets here for the implementation of the conditional MCO and preparations in conjunction with Deepavali which falls on Nov 14.

“The checks found that the supply of basic necessities is sufficient and there is no increase in pricing.

“In addition, the inspections show that the hypermarkets and supermarkets are complying with standard operating procedures (SOP).

“The supermarkets are ensuring that visitors wear face masks and practise social distancing.

“We will conduct daily monitoring to ensure sufficient supply of basic necessities like sugar, cooking oil, flour, rice, white bread, milk, chicken, eggs, vegetables, hand

sanitisers and face masks during the conditional MCO, as well as for Deepavali, ” he said in a statement.

Mohd Ridzuan reported no panic buying so far.

“However, there is a possibility of increase in purchases for the preparation of Deevapali.

“Traders are reminded to ensure that the goods sold are clearly marked with price tags to make it easier for consumers to obtain price information before making a purchase.

“We strongly advise traders not to take the opportunity to increase prices of essential goods during the conditional MCO and in conjunction with Deepavali this year, ” he said.

On Saturday, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that conditional MCO would be imposed in all states in peninsular Malaysia except for Kelantan, Perlis and Pahang from Nov 9 until Dec 6.

He said the decision was made after the Health Ministry found that there had been a significant increase in Covid-19 cases as well as the rate of infections in Kedah, Penang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor and Terengganu.

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