THE public market and food complex in Bandar Baru Ayer Itam, Penang, has been told to close after 18 traders and workers tested positive for Covid-19.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) in a statement said the closure effective yesterday was meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases.
“The closure will involve 159 stalls in the public market and 22 stalls in the food complex.
“We urge the public to be vigilant and adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in the community,” the statement said.
It also stressed that those who fall under the high-risk category as shown in their MySejahtera app would not be allowed to enter public markets under MBPP.
“Stern action will be taken, including immediate closure of the premises, if there is SOP violation,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, state local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said five public markets in Penang had been closed since last week.
“Even with one positive Covid-19 case, we will close the market to ensure public safety.
“We have initiated the Community Vaccine Mobilisation (Movak) 2.0 programme for 5,200 hawkers and petty traders under both city councils.
“They will receive their Covid-19 vaccines at Dewan Sri Pinang and Dewan Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi in Butterworth from Sept 9 to Sept 11.
“I urge all Penangites to always adhere to the SOP and register for the vaccination.
“If possible, test yourself with the Covid-19 self-test kits occasionally,” he said.
Two markets — the Batu Lanchang Market on the island and Bukit Mertajam Market on the mainland — were closed twice since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Since March last year, several public markets including those at Taman Free School, Batu Maung, Perak Road, Batu Lanchang, Padang Tembak, Bayan Baru and Jelutong on the island were temporarily closed for disinfection following the detection of Covid-19 cases.
On the mainland, the markets in Penaga, Bagan Ajam, Chai Leng Park, Taman Sri Rambai, Kampung Baru, Permatang Tinggi, Taman Bagan, Seberang Jaya, Kepala Batas, Machang Bubok and Bukit Mertajam were also closed after Covid-19 cases were found there.