Massage parlours and spas step up protective measures against monkeypox

MASSAGE parlour and spa operators in Johor are taking measures to protect themselves and their customers against monkeypox.

Apart from wearing gloves and face masks during each session, they do not accept high-risk customers such as those with fever or skin lesions.

Rohani Saad, 57, who operates a spa and reflexology centre in a Johor Baru mall, said she had told her staff to take extra precautions.

“We need to be on alert at all times and ask our customers whether they have fever, flu or any other symptoms before taking them in.

“Our customers and workers are also required to wear face masks at all times.

“In addition, workers are required to wear gloves for the massage, to avoid the risk of skin-to-skin contact,” she said.

Rohani, who has been in the business for over 12 years, said she was also worried about the Covid-19 situation.

“If the situation continues to worsen, we may have to shut down again.

“We need to take this matter seriously, especially now that there is another disease spreading across the globe,” she added.

Meanwhile, Siti Norhafiza Mohd Ali Kusbari, 22, who manages a reflexology centre in Kulai, said every customer who entered the premises was required to sanitise their hands.

“Our centre is fully operated by visually-impaired masseurs, including two who are completely blind.

“We have an extra challenge as we may not be able to clearly see if our customers have any physical symptoms related to monkeypox.

“We depend on their honesty,” she said, adding that gloves were used during massage sessions.

A massage therapist who only wanted to be known as Yau, 27, said the centre in Skudai where she works, was sanitised at least twice a day.

“Every room, bed and chair that is used is sanitised before and after each massage session.

“This has been our standard operating procedure for Covid-19.

“We hope it will also be helpful in protecting everyone against monkeypox,” she said.

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