Regular mass screening of market folk for Covid-19 mulled


THE Penang state government may conduct Covid-19 screening tests for targeted groups at places such as markets, where there have been Covid-19 cases detected among traders.

State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said following the closing and reopening of markets in Penang, the state was looking at extending screenings, like its mass Covid-19 screening programme (PSC-19), to such places.

“We are looking at coming in every one or two weeks with the PSC-19 model to assist in screening hawkers and traders at markets that have had cases before.

“In this case, we will conduct Covid-19 checks on the targeted groups as screening is still necessary even after vaccination,” he said during a press conference at the Pulau Tikus market in Penang on Monday.

The Pulau Tikus market reopened on Monday after a 14-day closure since Sept 27 following the detection of a number of Covid-19 cases among its traders.

Jagdeep, who was present at the reopening of the market, said with Pulau Tikus market reopening, all 33 public markets in Penang were now open.

“All our markets have now reopened but we urge all visitors to cooperate with us.

“Be responsible and follow the standard operating procedures,” said Jagdeep.

He added that up to now, some 18,715 traders and hawkers under both the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) had been vaccinated.

“That is 92.26% out of all the traders and hawkers under both city councils, where there are a total of 20,284 people.

“For the remaining numbers, we hope they can come forward to get jabbed soon for the good of their family and their community,” he said.

Meanwhile, MBPP mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang, who was present, said among the council staff, there had been 334 accumulated cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

As for MBSP, it was earlier reported that nine general workers had fallen victim to Covid-19 since March 18 last year while a total of 361 MBSP staff members had contracted Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

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