Droves of food delivery riders were picking up orders in the Bukit Bintang area just before noon.
While only a few restaurants were still open, they were catering to the takeaway and delivery services.
“I start work around 10am and I’ve already received 10 orders within a half hour.
“On a normal day, I would only be able to get these kinds of numbers after a few hours,” said rider Johan when met yesterday.
He added that most orders were from the surrounding offices in the area.
Another rider said there could be a longer waiting time as there were a limited number of restaurants available.
“Not all restaurants that have delivery services are open, so there are fewer choices,” he said.
At one restaurant in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, at least seven riders were seen waiting to pick up their orders. On the other hand, some restaurants that were completely closed took the opportunity to clean their premises.
Similar scenes unfolded in Johor, with Johor Baru Small Business Association president, Tony Tey Pian Hwang, saying that hawkers who usually complained of poor sales saw their stocks cleaned out in just a few hours.
“The market in Taman Suria is known for not having the best business, but when I visited them at about 10am, all of them had called it a day after their produce were sold out,” he said.
Tey added that most hawker centres in the state had designated delivery men or used delivery riders from Grab and Food Panda.
Tey also suggested that a subsidy for those ordering takeout or using the services of food delivery riders should be implemented to ease the burden of citizens as well as to encourage them to reduce unnecessary movement.
Meanwhile, Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh gave the assurance that Grab’s services – Food, Mart, Delivery and Transport – would continue to operate while adopting several measures.
“We strongly encourage our passengers to go cashless with GrabPay to minimise physical contact.
“We will temporarily suspend GrabShare and GrabBike to encourage safe, social-distancing practices.
“We will also ensure that all orders are carefully sealed by working closely with our merchant partners,” he said in a statement yesterday.Grab is also implementing “Contactless Deliveries”, where customers can include a note to their delivery partners to arrange for a contactless delivery, as long as the instructions are reasonable, the company said.
The company also urged the public to provide feedback if they notice any driver, delivery-partner or passenger exhibiting symptoms.
“We urge our community to inform us immediately if they have been tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, and have come into contact with a driver or passenger, so that we can assist the Health Ministry with contact tracing.
“We will temporarily suspend accounts that have been exposed to Covid-19, working closely with MOH,” he said, adding that Grab would also provide financial assistance to affected drivers and delivery partners while their account was on hold.
“We will provide RM1,000 to a partner who contracts Covid-19 on the job, and RM300 for a driver who is quarantined as a result of exposure during a ride or delivery,” said Goh.
”Our hearts go out to protecting our drivers’ and merchants’ income, and to protecting our community’s health and safety.”
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