Friday, May 7

Kuching South hawkers and traders back face shield policy

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Tan Choon Yong

KUCHING (May 3): The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Hawkers and Traders Association will give its full cooperation to the council’s latest policy requiring Kuching South hawkers to wear face shields to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Association chairman Tan Choon Yong said they understand the new requirement was put in place to protect both hawkers and customers against the virus.

“There is no reason for us to not abide by the new requirement, which means well for ourselves as well as our customers during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Given the rising number of Covid-19 cases, we hail the new requirement as a good policy as we believe everyone has a role to play to fight against Covid-19,” he told The Borneo Post.

Tan was commenting on Kuching South mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng’s announcement during his Facebook live session on Saturday that all hawkers trading under MBKS’ jurisdiction would be required to wear face shields from this week along with face masks.

Tan said the purchasing cost of face shields should not be a major problem for hawkers.

“I do not think it will be a heavy financial burden to us because it is for our own protection as well, not to mention that this is for the good of public health,” he said.

However, he pointed out the association has yet to receive official notice from MBKS with regard to the requirement.

He said the association may need to forward some suggestions to the council as well.

According to him, some hawkers such as butchers and fishmongers may face inconveniences wearing face shields as they may affect their vision.

“We will certainly fully cooperate with MBKS but there are some of us who may find the wearing of face shields to be inconvenient. We would not want to see anyone getting injured due to unclear vision.

“We will bring up our suggestions to MBKS once we see an official notice. As what it is now, we are not against the new requirement,” he said.

The association has over 700 members.

On Saturday, Wee said all hawkers in Kuching South would be expected to wear face shields to enhance protection against Covid-19.

He said a one-month grace period would be granted for hawkers to adapt to the new requirement.

According to the mayor, the policy could be extended to other government agencies if it proves successful among hawkers.

Wee also encouraged the private sector to advocate the use of face shields among their employees to help contain the spread of Covid-19.