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Padawan Municipal Council develops procedure for Covid-19 cases at markets to avoid future closures
Posted on : 14 Sep 2021  Source of News: https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/09/10/padawan-municipal-council-develops-procedure-for-covid-19-cases-at-markets-to-avoid-future-closures/
 

File photo shows traders at the Mile 7 market.

KUCHING (Sept 10): The Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) has formulated a procedure to handle Covid-19 cases at markets and trading areas under its jurisdiction in order to minimise disruptions and closures of markets in future.

In a statement, MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang said this is necessary in the post-vaccination era where the people need to live with the virus.

“MPP has and will monitor any hawker infected with Covid-19 and will immediately demand that close contacts such as the stall assistants and nearby hawkers to go for a swab test, failing which they will be unable to trade.

“This way we will be able to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the closure of the market. Advice will also be sought from the Kuching Divisional Health Office and MPP shall work closely with the Kuching Divisional Health Office and enforcement agencies to keep Covid-19 cases down not only in the markets but in the whole of MPP area,” he said.

In order to minimise disruptions in future, Lo said routine self-testing may also become the norm in order to manage the spread of Covid-19.

He said MPP understands that hawkers want to be able to trade every day to earn a livelihood.

“Everyone wants the economic sectors to be open and vibrant. Everyone has a responsibility to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Fighting Covid-19 is our joint responsibility.

“MPP shall continuously monitor and ensure our markets and trading places are clean and safe for all. Our traders and hawkers, members of the public including the economic sectors are once again reminded to continue and step up our efforts in observing and complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs). This is in order to keep the economic sectors open and ensure all are safe,” he said.

Lo said three markets and a temporary hawker centre under MPP resumed operations yesterday (Sept 9) following a reopening order from the Kuching Divisional Health Office, said Lo Khere Chiang today.

They were the Mile 3 Market, Mile 7 Market, Mile 10 Market, and Desa Wira Temporary Hawker Centre.

He said although the Cat’s Walk Street Market at Kuching City Mall was also cleared by the Health office, its reopening has been postponed.

“The Cat’s Walk Street Market at Kuching City Mall is unable to open as the operator and his management team are under quarantine until Sept 15.

“The Cat’s Walk Street Market at Kuching City Mall will reopen thereafter. Prior to this, all the above-mentioned markets and hawker centres were issued with the closure order from Sept 3 until further notice,” he said.

He said MPP adhered to and enforced the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) directive and closure order.

All the hawkers involved underwent swab tests and quarantined themselves until their tests results were clear.

Lo said the hawkers had cooperated as they understood that the closures were necessary for their own safety as well as that of their families and the community.

The hawkers also updated MPP on their swab test results and the local authority constantly kept the Kuching Divisional Health Office informed, he said.

Lo added MPP also carried out thorough cleaning and disinfection at the markets and temporary hawker centre.

“With the thorough disinfection of the markets and the swab test results, MPP then applied to the Kuching Divisional Health Office for the reopening of the markets and trading places,” he explained.

He thanked the Kuching Divisional Health Office for its understanding and consideration of MPP’s appeal for the hawkers who tested negative for Covid-19 to resume trading