It’s been almost two weeks since the implementation of the Movement Control Order, yet people are still seen roaming on the streets and crowding the market as usual just because they cannot sit still at home. Early this week, Penangites were still seen crowding wet markets even though everyone was requested to stay at home.
Due to the ignorance coming from the wet market and patrons, Penang state government decided to shut down a market at Sri Aman from yesterday (28 March) onwards. This shut down will last for three days, according to The Star. Jagdeep Singh Deo, the chairman of the State Local Government, Housing, Town and Country Planning Committee, stated that the market section of the Sri Aman Complex was ordered to shut down by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for not abiding with the Movement Control Order.
“The order to shut was issued Saturday and came into effect immediately. It is the first market in Penang that has been ordered to close by MBPP for not following the MCO.”
Besides that, Mr Jagdeep mentioned that the market failed to practise social distancing and they did not limit the number of patrons that shop there. He added that the market also did not provide hand sanitisers for their customers.
“The market did not follow the social distancing rule. They also did not control the number of people allowed in at one go. There was also no hand sanitiser provided for customers.”
This particular shut down was to protect the people and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although the market section was closed for the time being, the food complex that is attached to the market remains open, as long as they abide by the Movement Control Order.
Explaining that this move was not intended to burden the patrons and the stall owners, Mr Jagdeep said that it was inevitable because they want to ensure public safety.
“The food complex attached to the market has been allowed to continue operating as long as they abide by the MCO. We understand that closing the market is an unpopular move and it is not MBPP’s intention to burden the public or the stall owners but these steps are needed.”
Other than explaining the Committee’s intention, Mr Jagdeep warned that they will not hesitate to close other markets that refuse to comply with the Movement Control Order, as reported on the New Straits Times.
“We will not hesitate to act against other markets which also do not comply. Do not fool around, this is about the safety and health of our people. This is about life and death! If others can comply then why not here?”
We can’t understand how difficult it is to stay at home and not loiter in public places, let alone crowded markets. During this time period, we all should plan our purchases and avoid stepping out of our homes unnecessarily.
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