KUCHING: Traders had cooperated fully during the closure of five markets under the Padawan Municipal Council’s (MPP) jurisdiction, according to chairman Lo Khere Chiang.
The closure — for a period of one week — was directed by the Kuching Division Health Office due to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
During the period, traders were also required to undergo swab tests and later to self-quarantine until the results were out, explained Lo when met at the 3rd Mile Market here on Friday (Sept 10).
He was there to oversee the reopening of the market after the one-week closure.
He added that the traders understood the closure was done for their safety and that of others, including their families and customers.
“They updated MPP after the results were out and we constantly informed the health office on the results.
“MPP also carried out thorough cleaning and disinfection of the markets and trading places. After that, we applied to the health office to reopen the markets.”
Lo thanked the Kuching Division Health Office for their understanding and consideration in allowing traders who tested negative for Covid-19 to resume business.
At the same time, he advised the public to be vigilant whenever they go out to shop for essentials and also to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures set by the government.
“As we know, Covid-19 will be with us for a long time and we have to live with it but remember to take care of ourselves as well as the people around us.
“In order to not close the market again, we must ensure that it is safe to enter the market by taking precautionary measures, such as body temperature checks and proof of vaccination.
“If we are tested positive, please stay at home and do not go out for the sake of others. If possible, we do not want to close the market again.”
In order to minimise more disruptions in the future, routine self-testing with the self-testing kit could become the norm from now onwards, the Batu Kitang assemblyman opined.
“MPP has formulated a procedure on the handling of Covid-19 cases in the markets and will monitor any traders infected.
“We will immediately demand that close contacts such as the stall assistants and nearby traders to go for a swab test failing which they will be unable to trade.
“This way, we will be able to prevent the spread.”