SOCIAL distancing in several wet markets in Seberang Perai is getting better during the movement control order (MCO), which marks the seventh day of its enforcement today.
It, however, still needs improvement.
The MCO duration, from March 18 to March 31, is being enforced to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) mayor Datuk Rozali Mohamud, in his statement yesterday (March 23), also emphasised the importance of social distancing in wet markets to prevent the spread of the disease.
Buletin Mutiara visited a few wet markets today in Seberang Jaya, Jalan Raja Uda and Bagan Ajam to get an overview of the situation.
In Seberang Jaya, market-goers were seen queuing up nicely and properly before entering the market.
MBSP councillor Shuhada Abdul Rahim said only nine market-goers could enter the market at any one time.
“This is important for us to control the crowd. When there are not so many people inside the market, it is easier to practise social distancing.
“At the same time, market-goers could only enter the market through only one entrance and leave through only one exit.
“The MBSP enforcement officers on duty will monitor the situation.
“Our enforcement officers also constantly remind the traders to inform their customers to practise social distancing and leave quickly when they finished buying their groceries. We don’t want people to crowd around a stall.
“And so far, we can see there is an improvement in social distancing among the market-goers. This can still be improved because some of the shoppers seem to forget at times. They seemed to be preoccupied with their shopping,” said Shuhada when she visited the market this morning.
According to Shuhada, the MCO compliance rate among traders and market-goers here has improved each day since the MCO started on March 18.
“They also will listen to any order given by the enforcement officers such as queuing up before entering the market and maintaining the social distancing.
“This is such a good news when compared to the first day of the enforcement.
“Apart from that, MBSP will give hand sanitisers to all traders here and other markets as well once we get enough supply,” she said.
Over at the Bagan Ajam wet market in Butterworth, the majority of the market-goers could be seen practising social distancing. There are markers on the floor to guide them while they do their groceries.
Only a few of them did not keep a safe distance of at least a metre from one another.
It was the same scenario at the Apollo wet market in Jalan Raja Uda.
It is also observed that the number of visitors to the market had dwindled today.
MBSP councillor Tan Chee Teong said maintaining a safe distance from one another is more important now to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“In Apollo wet market, starting from today, we have placed markers on the floor to remind market-goers to practise social distancing. We want them to be at least a metre from the next person in the queue.
“We also limit the number of shoppers in the market by having only 20 to 40 people at any one time to control the crowd.
“And we have eight enforcement officers from MBSP to implement this restriction in the market.
“So far, we can see that most of them are cooperating very well and it is much better than yesterday,” he said.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud