Safe to be back in business


Traders spraying disinfectant and cleaning their stall to prepare for the reopening of the Jelutong Market today. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

JELUTONG Market in Penang has reopened after over a week of closure when several Covid-19 cases were first detected on May 17.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP), said in a statement that the Health Ministry allowed the market to resume operations at 6am from today onwards.

Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong, who was present to witness the removal of barrier tapes at the market yesterday, said over 200 hawkers and vendors will be returning to trade after passing their swab tests.

“There are 60 vendors inside the market and 186 outside in the morning. In the evening, there are 32 hawkers.

“All of them have cleared their swab tests and they will be extra careful this time.

“We hope to remind everyone to follow the SOPs and be mindful of physical distancing, ” he said at a press conference.

Ong (left) witnessing the removal of barrier tapes by the authorities and reopening of the Jelutong Market.Ong (left) witnessing the removal of barrier tapes by the authorities and reopening of the Jelutong Market.

Ong assured market-goers that the hawkers and vendors had all taken their swab tests and were allowed to return to trade.

“They are all safe and there are no more confirmed cases, otherwise the Health Ministry would not allow the market to reopen.

“As such, we hope people will be mindful and be careful, ” he added.

Jelutong Market deputy president Khor Say Peng, who was present, said they will continue initiatives to ensure proper physical distancing and SOP adherence at the market.

“We will continue hiring Rela personnel here. Like before, we will hire six personnel on weekdays and seven on weekends.

“Two of our committee members - myself and another member - will be on the ground to assist in ensuring SOP adherence as well.

“We told each of the traders at the market to ensure that they follow SOP and if possible, provide one person to add to the manpower of monitoring SOP adherence, ” he explained.

Fishball seller Thor Eng Tatt, 45, cleaning his stall after the reopening of the Jelutong Market in Penang.Fishball seller Thor Eng Tatt, 45, cleaning his stall after the reopening of the Jelutong Market in Penang.

Khor said as the market was earlier closed for over a week, the vendors and hawkers did not want to see the market closed again.

“Another closure would mean another 10 days of business shut down for these traders.

“So, we have to work together to ensure strict adherence to SOPs and we might be putting in place a sub-committee just to take care of the SOP adherence and monitor the operations at the market daily, ” he added.

On May 17, the market was shuttered after four traders tested positive for Covid-19.

All stalls in the market as well as the roadside stalls along Jalan Penaga and Lorong Ipoh were closed to undergo disinfection.

In a follow-up, the traders were all screened by the Health Department.

Meanwhile, the Super Tanker food court in Taman Lip Sin, off Jalan Sungai Dua, has also been given the green light to open today.

All hawkers at the 55 food stalls there had passed their swab tests and were allowed to return to operate.

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Jelutong Market , Penang , reopened , covid-19

   

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