THE movement control order (MCO), which marks the sixth day of its enforcement today, saw roadside traders at several wet markets in Seberang Perai beginning to show compliance with the local council ruling by not opening their stalls temporarily.
This came following many complaints of overcrowding at the marketplaces received by Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) since the enforcement of MCO from March 18. The MCO ends on March 31.
Buletin Mutiara visited a few wet markets in Bagan Ajam, Sri Uda and Jalan Raja Uda to get an overview of the situation.
In Bagan Ajam, several MBSP enforcement officers were seen on duty at the market early in the morning.
From observation, none of the roadside stalls outside the market was operating.
MBSP councillor Tan Chee Teong said this showed that the roadside hawkers in Bagan Ajam wet market had heeded the council’s order.
“At the same time, we also implement some restrictions today by allowing only between 50 and 150 market-goers inside the market at any one time. This is also being done in other markets as well.
“Market-goers in Bagan Ajam can only enter the market through two entrances and leave through two exits, so it will be easier for us to control the crowd.
“This is to prevent overcrowding in the market and to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“So far, in Bagan Ajam market, fewer people were spotted since yesterday and the situation is under control,” said Tan when he visited the market this morning.
According to Tan, markers also have been placed on the floor to encourage market-goers of social distancing.
“We also have informed traders to advise their customers to practise social distancing of at least a metre from the next person in the queue as part of the preventive measures,” he added.
Over at the Apollo wet market in Jalan Raja Uda, no roadside stalls were seen operating at all. Many enforcement officers, including police personnel, were present at the market area.
Fewer market-goers could also be seen at the market today when compared to yesterday (March 22). Social distancing, however, still needs to be improved.
It was the same scenario at Sri Uda wet market with none of the roadside stalls opening for business.
It is also observed that the space for roadside stalls at the market area has been used as a car park.
Bagan Jermal assemblyman Soon Lip Chee said the situation was improving with each passing day of the MCO period.
“As we can see today, the traders and market-goers at Sri Uda wet market have started to take preventive measures such as practising social distancing among themselves and wearing a face mask.
“This could be seen at Mak Mandin wet market as well. They were also queuing up nicely and properly when buying items. No panic buying.
“Overall, I am very satisfied with the conditions in both markets. Both traders and market-goers are following the order very well.
“At the same time, some traders here have initiated a business ‘rotation’ system.
“I commend their initiative to bring down the number of people inside the market, which will help prevent the spreading of Covid-19,” said Soon, who is also the state Youth and Sports Committee chairman during his visit today.
Meanwhile, MBSP councillor Khong Chee Seong said the council would carry out the disinfection process regularly at all markets under MBSP during the MCO period.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Noor Siti Nabilah Noorazis