Outbreak of Covid-19 among poultry sellers leads to market closure

Traders at the fruits section seen removing their goods following the closure of the Batu Lanchang Market.

THE Batu Lanchang Market in Penang is closed after seven poultry traders tested positive for Covid-19.

Northeast district Health officer Datin Dr Azizah Ab Manan, who was present during the closure operations, said all seven traders tested positive via the RTK-Ag tests.

“One was confirmed positive after undergoing the RT-PCR test, while the other six are pending results,” she said.

It was understood that the traders had earlier visited a private clinic themselves for Covid-19 testing after experiencing symptoms of the virus.

The market’s poultry, meat and dry food sections were ordered to close by noon yesterday, while its seafood and vegetables section were allowed to operate until 5pm before complete closure.

Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong, who was present, said the market would remain closed until further notice.

The closure, he said, would affect 180 traders at the market complex.

“The market will be closed until further notice and we urge all market traders to cooperate with us.

“All market traders are requested to go for Covid-19 screenings and we urge those with symptoms to visit the Jalan Perak government health clinic immediately.”

Ong said within his constituency, three places including two markets and a food complex, had faced closures due to Covid-19 cases this year.

The areas temporarily closed due to Covid-19 cases earlier during the May to June period were the Perak Road Market, Jelutong Market and Batu Lanchang food complex.

Ong said as such, he hoped market traders and hawkers could be given priority to receive vaccination.

“We hope the Health Ministry could consider vaccinating market traders and hawkers first as they work in a public space and are serving the public.

“Markets and food complexes are places where the public, traders and hawkers trade.

“We hope traders and hawkers can be prioritised for vaccination to reduce their risk of exposure,” he said.

In May, the Batu Lanchang food complex was closed for nine days after three of its hawkers tested positive for Covid-19.

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