PETALING JAYA: At least 22 Ramadan bazaars nationwide have been ordered to close by the Housing and Local Government Ministry to contain the rise in Covid-19 cases.
The order for the closure was made by the local authorities after the Ministry received a report by the Hotspot Identification by Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) secretariat.
Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zainal Abidin Abu Hassan said the decision was made during the National Security Council special meeting on Wednesday.
“Several Ramadan bazaars under the supervision of local authorities have been instructed to close beginning Saturday (today). The ministry has received a report from HIDE, which has identified several bazaars that posed a threat in spreading the Covid-19 infection.
This threat is identified through contact tracing analysis performed by the Health Ministry through the MySejahtera application. These bazaars have to cease operations to curb the spread of infection, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
The bazaars identified as being high-risk spots include Belatuk Taman Scientex, Kg Pasir in Jalan Mata Kucing, Mart Kempas and Lok Heng in Johor; Taman Selasih, Baling 2021 and Kupang 2021 in Kedah; Lurah Semantan and Temerloh Jaya in Pahang; Bazar Nanas Kg Selabak in Perak; MPKK Jalan Tenggiri, Attakwa Taman Bertam Indah, Kampung Melayu, Masjid Daerah Barat Daya, Iftar Ramadan Jalan Berangan, Bukit Gedung and Taman Tun Sardon in Penang; Puncak Jalil and the LRT Cempaka station in Selangor; and Taman Setiawangsa and Jalan Raja Alang in Kuala Lumpur.
In response, Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, owner of the Cempaka LRT station, confirmed that the bazaar at the popular LRT station would be closed starting today.
“This order came from the Housing and Local Government Ministry that has identified 22 high-risk Ramadan bazaars, including two in Selangor, ” it said in a statement.
In relation to this, the King has urged Malaysians not to neglect the standard operating procedures, especially at Ramadan bazaars, schools and festive events.
In a statement from Istana Negara yesterday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah expressed his concern about the continued hike in new Covid-19 cases, which has now breached 3,000 cases daily.
“His Majesty urges the rakyat to stay disciplined in following the directives and SOP set by the government to prevent this country from being overwhelmed by the Covid-19 tsunami which has struck several countries in South Asia and Europe.
“His Majesty continues to remind the rakyat not to lose focus, and to remain vigilant for the sake of one’s health and safety, and that of their family members and society, as the fourth wave of Covid-19, if it does happen, will threaten and worsen the country’s economy further.
“It has been reported that the Health Ministry has projected that Covid-19 cases in the country can exceed 3,000 new cases after Hari Raya Aidilfitri if SOPs are not adhered to, ” said the statement signed by the Comptroller of the Royal Household of Istana Negara Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.
He also noted that the King was concerned about the latest reports about the closure of numerous schools and the lack of adherence to SOP in several festive events and Ramadan bazaars.
“What is also worrying is the report which said private hospitals in the Klang Valley are experiencing a shortage of beds following the spike in Covid-19 cases two weeks ago, ” he said.
The King also expressed hope that the rakyat will carry out their social responsibility in getting examined and treated if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, and to self-isolate if found to be positive or come into close contact with someone who tested positive.
“The rakyat must be honest to themselves and to society by obeying quarantine rules and SOP to avoid harm to society.
“His Majesty expresses his confidence that there will be utmost cooperation and commitment between the rakyat and the government, and that we will once again be able to curb the spread of Covid-19 for the welfare of our beloved country.
“Reflecting on the blessings of Ramadan, His Majesty takes the opportunity to invite the rakyat to pray for the country so that it will continue to be blessed and protected, and for the pandemic to end soon, ” the statement said.