Wholesale market workers happy to get first dose

Workers at Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur waiting to get their first Covid-19 vaccine dose at the market.

ABOUT 2,000 workers from Pasar Borong Kuala Lumpur in Selayang have received their first vaccine dose under the MYMedic@Wilayah Vaccine Mobile Truck initiative at the market.

The one-day vaccination drive, that started at 9am, involved four mobile trucks parked at the market carpark.

Among those who received the vaccine yesterday were Lee Kok Meng, 44, and his wife Chai Mei Ching, 37, who also works there.

When a few traders of the wholesale market tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this year, Lee went to work every day although he feared for his health.

The father of three from Rawang, Selangor, soldiered on out of the need to support his family.

“I did not feel scared about getting the vaccine. In fact, I was excited.

“I feel safer now that I have partial protection against Covid-19 and can go to work with ease,” said the vegetable seller.

Another worker, Muhamad Rohaizam Shafiq Mohd Zambry, 21, did not expect to receive his first vaccine dose so soon.

“I know many who have registered are still waiting for their appointments.

“I used to feel scared about coming to work because many people had fallen ill,” he said, believing that the initiative would give others the confidence to sign up for vaccination.

The market was closed several times since last year due to a surge in Covid-19 cases among its workers.

The first closure was in April last year, followed by January this year. The latest closure was from May 9 to 17, after several seafood traders contracted the virus.

Vijayan Mariappan, 54, who has worked there for the past three decades, reminded everyone not to let their guard down after getting vaccinated.

“We still need to adhere to standard operating procedure such as wearing face masks and maintaining a safe distance,” he said.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who was at the event, expressed hope that the initiative would ensure health and safety of workers and customers at the market.

He thanked the Health Ministry and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for organising the drive.

“It is important for the workers to be vaccinated as they face customers from all over Klang Valley.

“This will restore confidence among customers and ensure that the traders can continue their work safely,” he said.

Annuar said he would negotiate with National Covid-19 Immuni-sation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin to vaccinate e-hailing drivers and petty traders in the city as well.

“If there is sufficient supply of vaccines, we want to conduct a similar programme for these people as well,” he added.

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