GEORGE TOWN: With Penang remaining under the conditional movement control order, several food operators are all for a full-scale lockdown if the need arises.
Coffee shop operator Jimmy Ooi, 43, said he would support being placed under MCO if the number of Covid-19 cases kept increasing.
“Economically it will be bad for us but I would rather offer takeaways than worry about the rising number of cases.
“I don’t mind the business setback as I doubt there is any other way to keep the numbers down, ” he said at his shop here.
Ooi said another round of MCO would make a difference, citing the first MCO in March last year when the number of Covid-19 cases came down quickly.
He said business had been poor since the beginning of the outbreak last year.
“We used to have seven or eight food stalls but many had closed as they could not sustain themselves.
“Many stalls keep changing hands and we only have six stall operators now.
“Business is getting better but we will suffer if the working class has to work from home, ” he said.
M. Kathiresen, who owns a famous banana leaf eatery in Little India, said he was all for another round of MCO after seeing what happened in India.
“We would prefer a targeted MCO but if the government thinks otherwise, we’ll support it.
“At the end of the day, life is the most important thing to us.
“If an MCO is imposed here, we hope ample time will be given for us to sort out our operations to only offer take-away, ” he said.
Kathiresen said he was worried for his staff who were constantly in contact with people who remove their face masks to eat.
“I hope the vaccination process can accelerate and workers like mine are vaccinated, ” he said.
Kathiresen said he felt bad for newer restaurants that could not survive the first and second MCO.
However, there are some who do not want MCO implemented.
Insurance agent Ben Ooi, 39, said while he was not happy with the current situation, he felt the implementation of another blanket MCO would jeopardise livelihoods.
“We understand the need to implement MCO to curb infections, so if we do not want another lockdown, we have to follow the SOP, ” he said.
Florist Adren Ong also said she would not want another full lockdown.
“I am grateful I can run my business this year, unlike last year when the MCO was first implemented, ” said the 46-year-old.
In Kepala Batas, street trader Ros Saihah Md Rodzi, 22, echoed similar sentiments and vowed to strictly follow the SOP mandated by the government.
“As long as there is no MCO in this area, we will be okay, ” said Ros Saihah.
Yesterday, Penang recorded a sharp hike in daily Covid-19 cases, with 305 cases – its highest in 48 days.