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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, July 24: The 14-day closure rule only applies to a particular hawker stall with Covid-19 case among its operators while the entire hawker centre or marketplace is to be closed down for three days.
Within the three days, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng said other hawkers in the same marketplace are required to undergo swab tests and their results must be negative before they are allowed to resume their businesses.
“If any hawker in a market is found positive (for Covid-19), the marketplace will be closed down for three days immediately.
“On the first day, sanitisation and cleaning works will be carried out at the market and in the meantime, all hawker operators and employees must go for Covid-19 swab tests.
“Normally the results can be obtained within 48 hours, so this explains the three-day closure policy,” he said.
He was referring to the recent closure notices of Stutong Community Market and Sungai Apong Market following the detection of one positive case each from the two locations.
Sungai Apong Market was closed from July 22 to 24 while Stutong Community Market will not be operating from July 23 to 26.
As to why Stutong Community Market was closed for four days instead of three like Sungai Apong Market, Wee said it was due to the large number of over 500 hawkers to be tested and that the Covid-19 One Stop Centre is only open for half a day on weekends.
“Between Stutong and Sungai Apong markets, Stutong Community Market was ordered to close for four days because there are too many hawkers to be tested. There are more than 500 of them.
“The second reason is that coincidentally, these hawkers have to go for swab tests on weekends and the One Stop Centre operates from 9am to 12pm only on weekends.
“So, under these two conditions, we figured all the results will not be out so soon, thus, the extension for another day until Monday,” he said during the ShallWeeTalk session on Facebook today.
He was replying to questions from the audience who queried the difference of closure period between the two markets and some private companies that were closed down for 14 days.
For private businesses, Wee explained the possibility of two scenarios whereby firstly, one of the customers is found positive for the virus and secondly, one of the shop operators is positive.
In the former situation, the shop will have to be closed for three days for sanitisation and screening of employees.
In the latter situation, the employee who tested positive will be sent for 14-day quarantine immediately while other employees will get swabbed, and if more results returned positive, the shop will be closed down for 14 days. — DayakDaily