IT MAY become compulsory for all traders in Sibu Municipal Council area to be vaccinated if they want to continue doing business.
Council chairman Clarence Ting, who made the proposal, said he regretted that some traders at the central market and pasar tamu had not registered for the vaccine due to concerns over comorbidities and other health fears.
Saying that their reasons were unacceptable, Ting said he would instead propose that all market traders be vaccinated before being allowed to conduct business.
“This vaccine requirement is to make the market safe for the public to patronise, ” he explained.
Ting also wanted the same requirement to apply to those in the food and beverage industry, such as coffeeshops, restaurants, bistros and bars.
“We want a safe environment for customers to dine in.
“This can only happen when proprietors and workers are vaccinated, ” he added.
Ting said traders had complained about slow business at the central market.
“I am not surprised that the public has been avoiding markets due to the rise in Covid-19 positive cases in March and early April, ” he added.
Ting along with council workers and Junior Chamber International Sibu members helped 125 traders register for Covid-19 vaccination.
Of the number, 100 were from the central market and the remaining 25 from Pasar Tamu Taman Indah.
He said there were 68 traders at the pasar tamu but only 25 of them agreed to register.
Ting urged the State Disaster Management Committee as well as Health Ministry to carry out a campaign to change the mindset of traders on this issue.
Meanwhile, state Housing and Local Government assistant minister Dr Annuar Rapaee said Sarawak needed to ramp up registration efforts for Covid-19 vaccination as there were still 476,853 out of its 2.08 million population who had yet to do so.
Of this number, 242,340 are in Kuching, Sibu 93,801, Miri 84,542 and Bintulu 56,170.
However, Dr Annuar, in his Covid-19 update on social media, believed that the figure could be lower as some had registered manually and this had not been reflected in the MySejahtera app.
“I urge all village development committees and community leaders to carry out a campaign and get those who have not registered for the vaccine to do so.
“Registration is very important because we need to know the data.
“I will fight for places that are in hot zones such as Sibu, Bintulu and Miri to be given priority to receive the vaccine, ” he said.
Dr Annuar also called on youths aged 18 and above to register for the vaccine.
“There are still youths over 18 who have not registered as they feel that they do not need the vaccine.
“It must be pointed out that the trend of infection has now shifted towards young people, ” he noted.
With Hari Gawai less than two weeks away, Dr Annuar, who is Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee coordinator, urged the people to stay vigilant, follow standard operating procedure and practise good hygiene.