‘Faceless’ city

Stall owners and customers wearing face masks.

KUCHING: Not a bare face was seen among people strolling in the city today as Kuching celebrated the 32nd anniversary of its elevation to a city.

It was apparent that everyone took the government’s rule on seriously in regards to the mandatory use of face masks in public or crowded places, which came into effect on today in an effort to curb Covid-19 transmissions.

Masked shoppers walking along India Street.

Those patronising kopitiams and eateries only had their face masks off while they were eating, and those out for some Saturday shopping had their face masks on at all times.

Colourful reusable fabric face masks for sale.

At the same time, store owners made sure that all their staff members wore face masks as well. Some even had signs at their shop entrances barring customers who did not wear masks. 

A number of shops also had a new addition to their wares – reusable fabric face masks in a variety of patterns and colours to suit different preferences.

The police were observed patrolling the streets and monitoring to ensure that everyone complied with the new rule.

Interviewed by New Sunday Tribune, members of the public responded positively to the mandatory face mask policy.

Magdalene Nyakod

Pastry chef Magdalene Nyakod, 36, said that it was not a difficult rule to adhere to and it was for the good of everyone’s safety.

“It is great that the government has made it compulsory,” she said, suggesting that it would be helpful if employers supplied face masks for their staff members.

Nur Aina Farzana

Nur Aina Farzana, 20, a student, also commended the government’s move as an effort to reduce the number of Covid-19 victims.

“It may pose a financial challenge for lower income families, but people have been very creative and making their own reusable face masks to save cost,” she said.

She said that strict action should be taken against violators, or else the public would not take the matter seriously.

“Strict enforcement by the authorities is for the benefit of all,” she emphasised.

Nur Shahreen Fariza

Meanwhile, sales personnel Nur Shahreen Fariza, 18, was of the view that the government should consider making stricter rules o safety measures such as social distancing and complusaru use ahand sanitiser use compulsory or at least have stricter enforcement.

“While making face masks mandatory would help, this alone may not be enough. There are other things which people can do to curb the spread of the virus,” she remarked.

Afifi Fadzil

Store assistant Afifi Fadzil, 24, also gave the thumbs-up to the policy, opining that the government should have made face masks compulsory from the start of the pandemic.

“In addition, the movement control order (MCO) should not have been ended so soon, as this may have triggered a second wave of the virus.

“We all need to take more precautions and use face masks,” he stressed.