GEORGE TOWN: The Perak Road market reopened on Friday (June 18) after being closed for a week following several Covid-19 cases there.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the closure was in line with the state government’s efforts to prioritise public health and security in the fight against the pandemic.
“After being advised by the Health Ministry, premises under the authority of Penang Island City Council will be closed if positive cases are detected.
“All traders at the Perak Road market followed procedure and underwent screenings.
“Only 11 positive cases were detected as of June 17.
“All traders have been tested and those positive will be quarantined.
“We have to act fast when there is a positive case," he said on Friday.
Jagdeep said several markets have been closed since the first movement control order.
“It is not an easy decision to close a (market), especially during the present trying times as the livelihood of the people will be affected.
“However, public health is more important,” he said.
Since March last year, several public markets including Taman Free School, Batu Maung and Jelutong on the island and in Penaga, Bagan Ajam and Bukit Mertajam on the Penang mainland had been closed after Covid-19 cases were detected.
Jagdeep said besides complying with standard operating procedures, registering to receive the vaccine was also important.
“We will have to vaccinate at least 1.34 million people in Penang, which is around 70% of the total population in the state.
“According to our data, only 900,000 Penangites have registered. We still need 400,000 Penangites to get the jabs to achieve herd immunity.
“This will help to speed up the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
“The government must make sure that there are enough vaccines so that we can achieve this as soon as possible," he said.
Since March 18 last year, 1.98 million checks have been carried out at public premises throughout the state.