Amirul arranges the fabric in his store.

KUCHING: Some textile traders in India Street here have expressed fear that they might be forced to cease business should a second wave of Covid-19 occur.

As it is, since the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) in March this year, some of the traders had been severely affected, experiencing a decline in business of up to 70 percent.

“We were forced to close business throughout the duration of the MCO followed by the conditional movement control order (CMCO). We were only allowed to reopen during the recovery movement control order (RMCO),” said a proprietor of Merjiah Trading Amirul Abdul Karim.

Amirul, 32, said the only consolation was that the landlord, the management of a nearby mosque, had decided to waive rentals for the two months closure.

“As you can see, there has been a decline in the number of customers walking around as compared to before the pandemic,” he said.

Business was very slow as there were only a few people seen passing by India Street.

“My personal view is that the textile business is affected the most compared to the restaurant or the ready-made clothes business because our product usually are worn during events,” he explained.

Another textile business owner Abdul Rahim Abdullah said the cost of running the shop was starting to affect his income.

“Due to the MCO my income was heavily affected as there was no business but I still have to pay the bills and buy the necessities for my home,” said Abdul Rahim who operates Ilahi Trading.

He added that even though opening of shops are allowed, the fear of Covid-19 has affected the purchasing power from customers as they would only buy daily necessities.

Both shared their concerns for their business if the Covid-19 cases rise again in Sarawak.

“To be honest, it is worrying because before this we have to stop our business operation and this time if it still continues it might be really damaging to our business,” said Amirul.

“During the lockdown I had to pull out my savings just to get by, so it will be very difficult for my business if a second wave occurs in our state,” said Rahim.