DAY by day, the social distancing practised by traders and market-goers at the wet markets in Seberang Perai has been improving.
The movement control order (MCO), which started on March 18, has entered the eighth day today.
In the latest announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin this afternoon, the MCO has been extended from March 31 to April 14 to fight the spread of Covid-19.
As stated by the Health Ministry (MOH), social distancing is seen as the most effective way to prevent the outbreak of the disease. That is one of the main reasons why the government has been enforcing the MCO.
Buletin Mutiara visited a few wet markets today at Taman Sama Gagah in Permatang Pauh, Taman Selamat (Bukit Mertajam) and Sri Penanti wet market to get an overview of the situation.
From the observation of the three markets, it could be clearly seen that the majority of the market-goers and traders were following the MCO accordingly. They distanced themselves from one another at a metre or so apart when queuing up or purchasing groceries and necessary items.
Markers also have been placed on the floor to remind people to practise social distancing.
Almost all of them could be seen wearing face masks all the time.
At the same time, Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) enforcement officers and police personnel were seen on duty at the markets early in the morning.
They have been allowing a certain number of shoppers at any one time inside the market to prevent overcrowding every day for the past few days.
In addition, they have also reduced entrance and exit points for better crowd control.
MBSP councillor Fahmi Zainol said in general, the compliance rate at the wet markets in Seberang Perai, especially in Permatang Pauh, is getting better each day.
“People have started to accept the implementation of social distancing when doing their shopping.
“They also wear a face mask all the time and practise other preventive measures as well to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“This is a good sign when compared to the early days of the MCO enforcement.
“We can see now that there are not so many shoppers anymore in the wet markets. This could mean that the residents only leave their houses when necessary. This shows that their level of understanding during the MCO period is improving.
“Although we have not reached a 100% compliance rate yet in Seberang Perai, rest assured that MBSP will continue to do its monitoring regularly to ensure the community adhere to the MCO,” Fahmi said when contacted today.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud