PETALING JAYA: Ramadan bazaars have mushroomed across the country where they are permitted to open with strict adherence to Covid-19 standard operating procedure.
Many of these markets in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur were seen restricting the number of customers on their sites. Patrons have to queue up for their turn to be served.
At a Ramadan bazaar in Bandar Tasik Puteri, Rawang, there was a long line of people waiting patiently to have their temperature scanned before being allowed into the premises.
There was proper physical distancing observed between the stalls.
The heavy rain in the afternoon also kept the crowds to a more manageable size.
In Ipoh, Bernama reported that the Ramadan bazaar at the Perak Stadium grounds was under tight control following the emergence of a community cluster at Jalan Canning Estate, located about 2km away.
Ipoh mayor Datuk Rumaizi Baharin said the crowd control and monitoring of SOP adherence at the bazaar with 110 stalls were carried out by the police and Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps).
He said that a specially created route in and out of the Ramadan bazaar at Perak Stadium was being controlled by personnel on duty.
Visitors complied with the SOP before entering the bazaar area, and also practised physical distancing.
Over at the Medan Gopeng Ramadan bazaar, patrons were also seen complying with the SOP.
Drinks seller Mohd Hanif Zamzuri, 31 said the atmosphere was a little different from pre-pandemic times.
“Previously, there were more traders but now we have to ensure (there is enough space) to comply with the physical distancing rule, yet the response is still encouraging, ” he said.
In Labuan, the site for the bazaars were demarcated with red tape to ensure physical distancing and traffic flow among customers and traders.
In George Town, at a bazaar in Queen Street, four Rela personnel were deployed to make sure that the SOP was followed.
But the patrons, once they entered the bazaar after the temperature screening, seemed to disregard the physical distancing rule.
Penang Muslim League deputy president Datuk Shahul Hameed Syed Mohamed, who is also the organising chairman, said there were only 24 stalls this year in a bid to ensure physical distancing could be maintained.
“Previously, we used to have more than 30 stalls but we have limited it to only 24 stalls this year to control the crowd.
“We only limit to 40 customers at any one time, ” he said.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who launched the bazaar, said: “The number of positive Covid-19 cases is on the rise of late. We are not out of the woods yet and everyone has to be disciplined by sanitising themselves frequently, putting on a mask and practising physical distancing at all times.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani advised members of the public to adhere to SOP set by the National Security Council.
“Traders also have the responsibility to ensure their customers follow the SOP, such as wearing face masks, maintain physical distancing and scan the QR code for the MySejahtera app, ” he said in a statement, adding that police would be on the lookout.
In Melaka, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said the organisers of such bazaars would have their permits revoked if social distancing and other aspects of the SOP were disregarded.
“Our intention to allow the operation of these bazaars is for traders to generate revenue.
“Some states cancelled the bazaars due to the impact of Covid-19.
“However, we have to review the permission if such violations continue, ” he said, referring to a report about overcrowding at one of the bazaars here.
The report also showed a picture of people making a beeline for the bazaar, disregarding the physical distancing rule.