Fresh vegetables pictured at a market. Experts say that if more people ate a plant-based diet it would be good for the health of the planet. File photo: dpa

SIBU: Visitors to the Sibu Central Market will now have to follow stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) before they are allowed to enter to do their marketing.

The rule also applies to other markets in areas under Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) jurisdiction.

According to SMC chairman Clarence Ting, the council re-imposed stricter SOPs at the Central Market on July 27 due to a second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in the state.

Strict SOPs compliance is necessary as SMC does not want any of its markets to become a cluster of the coronavirus, said Ting at a press conference here yesterday.

“We do not want to become another Sentosa and Satok markets in Kuching where both are new clusters of Covid-19. We don’t want what have happened in Kuching to occur here. That is why we are re-implementing the tighter SOPs at the Central Market and other markers under our jurisdiction,” he said.

Meanwhile, chairman of Market and Petty Traders Committee, Cr Albert Tiang said the council had in fact required all market visitors to register their particulars during the first two weeks of conditional MCO but had stopped it due to the long queues of people.

Only temperature scanning was done on visitors then.

Tiang said the council had decided to re-enforce both manual and QR registrations at five entry points of the central market.

The stricter SOP was to ensure that all its markets are safe for visitors, he stressed.

“Should there be any cases, we will be able to trace the visitors. Also when there are cases, we will immediately impose a closure of the market,” he said.

Visitors to the Central Market will now have to use either QR code registration (MySejahtera) or manual registration whereby their personal particulars such as name, contact number and body temperature are recorded.

Besides that only those with face masks will be allowed to enter. Children below the age of 13 are strictly prohibited to enter the market.

“Senior citizens are only allowed if they follow the SOP,” he said.

Meanwhile at Taman Muhibbah and Taman Harmoni food courts, the individual stall will do the temperature checking and registration of customers instead of a central registration point.