Stricter SOP for market’s reopening after second bout of Covid-19

Ong (in blue) and Poh (far left) at the reopening of the Batu Lanchang Market after a one-week closure.

THE Batu Lanchang Market in Penang has reopened with a stricter standard operating procedure (SOP).

Batu Lanchang assemblyman Ong Ah Teong said the market was given the green light to reopen yesterday after a one-week closure.

“Seven of the traders who are Covid-19 positive are in quarantine and are monitored by the state Health Department,” he said.

On Sept 3, the market was ordered closed by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) after four traders tested positive while three more awaited their results.

It was first ordered shut on July 29 after seven poultry traders tested positive for the disease.

The market was reopened on Aug 18 after a 19-day closure then.

Ong had earlier suggested the idea of creating a drive-through system to reduce crowds in the market, saying the move would ensure better crowd control.

“The Batu Lanchang Market would be the first market to have drive-through service in Penang.

“We will need about a month’s time to work out the system for the drive-through service, where market-goers can pick up their orders without having to get out of their vehicles.”

Ong said he would help by offering a subsidised price for the Covid-19 self-test kits, with traders paying only RM10 for each kit.

He said Batu Lanchang food complex hawkers and market traders would use the self-test kit twice a month to check if they were free from the virus.

Batu Lanchang Market chairman Poh Chai Lee, 68, said he hoped traders and market-goers would help each other by informing of any symptoms as early as possible.

“It is scary and unpredictable when positive cases are found out.

“This affects our financial wellbeing and safety,” he said, adding that they received the message about the market reopening in their WhatsApp group yesterday.

MBPP, in a statement, said it would be monitoring the situation in the market from time to time to ensure the safety and health of traders, workers and market-goers.

MBPP also reminded the general public to follow the proper SOP implemented to prevent further infection of the Covid-19 virus.

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