Friday, July 30

Sibu Municipal Council to make face shields mandatory for traders at its markets, hawker centres

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Bernama file photo for illustration purposes shows a front-liner wearing a face shield.

SIBU (April 16): The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will soon make it mandatory for traders at markets and hawker centres under its jurisdiction to wear face shields to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Councillor Albert Tiang said the latest initiative was in addition to the existing requirement for traders to wear face masks.

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“The council is still fine-tuning the latest initiative to safeguard the safety of both traders and their customers, before implementation. Additionally, food and drink traders and their assistants will need to use latex gloves.

“The primary objective of the enhanced initiative is to reduce the risks of infection among traders and their customers,” Tiang told The Borneo Post today.

Additionally, he said any hawker found to be Covid-19 positive would be disallowed from returning to their stall for 90 days after being discharged from the hospital.

Likewise, if a hawker’s assistant is found positive for Covid-19, the affected stall will be closed for one month and the assistant concerned barred from the stall for 90 days, he added.

He said stalls at the Sibu Central Market will be zoned to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Unlike previously, instead of shutting the entire market, only the affected stalls will be closed in the event a Covid-19 case detected,” Tiang said.

He explained that under this system, traders of stalls located on the left, right, or across from the affected stall would be asked to close for several days.

“These traders will need to undergo swab tests and produce a declaration that they are negative before being allowed to resume their operations,” he said.

Photo shows the lack of customers at the market on Thursday night.

A check at the Butterfly Garden night market last night found there were not many visitors.

The night market will be closed from today until April 26 following the imposition of additional standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

It had been closed since Jan 16, following the imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Sibu, and just reopened on April 9.

A trader who asked not to be named bemoaned that he had barely traded for three days since the reopening.

“And tomorrow (tonight), the night market will be closed again. That is why it is very important for everyone to adhere strictly to the SOPs to stop the spread of Covid-19,” he stressed.