SIBU: Despite the rise in Covid-19 cases among hawkers and traders at Sibu Central Market, the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has no plans to shut down the popular venue.
SMC chairman Clarence Ting told the media today that despite advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to do so after 16 more cases were reported recently, SMC would stick to its decision to allow operations.
He said SMC could not continue to shut down the market because this would mean the loss of income for the hawkers and traders.
However, SMC stressed that it would use other methods to continue the operations of the market so that it would not affect overall operations and the income of hawkers and traders.
“The economy is now very bad and we have to consider their financial problems and the solution is not to close this market but to make it safer for visitors.”
Ting said SMC would put barriers at all four corners of the venue to control the number of visitors.
“As of now, visitors are entering from the existing entrance and they do not follow the movement flow or arrows displayed because we only use ropes as fencing at the entry and exit.”
Another method, he said, was to close the operations of certain areas if there was a case instead of closing overall operations.
“If there is a positive case in the vegetable section, then we will close the area for three days for sanitisation work. We will not close the fish section as it will not be fair to them (fishmongers).”
Meanwhile, he revealed that when SMC reopened the market on March 1, 14 cases were recorded that month involving hawkers and traders.
On Sunday, he said four more cases were recorded.
SMC shut down the market from Feb 8 to Feb 28 after 47 cases were reported.