Virus scare at Sibu marketplace, fearful shoppers stay away

A lone native trader alone at one corner of the Pasar Tamu

SIBU, Dec 19: There was a huge drop in the number of shoppers at Pasar Tamu Taman Indah today due to a coronavirus scare.

This comes after it was reported that the four Indonesian women who were tested positive for the virus on Dec 15, were dropped off at a bus stop near the Tamu before they fled to Entikong.

This has resulted in panic among the people who prefer to stay away from the Tamu.

Chairman of Sibu Municipal Council, Clarence Ting who visited the market said only 37 out of the 115 regular traders were reported trading today.

However, Tamu traders came in big numbers.

“Traders were asking me, what can they do? I told them, I also don’t know, but just weather out this unfortunate incident. As for ourselves, we have to practice strict SOP to keep Covid-19 away,” he said.

“Due to these circumstances, the council is not taking attendance of the shoppers for the next 2 weeks,” he said.

However, a quick survey showed that the number of shoppers today were less than 10% of the normal average of 2,000 on every Saturday.

Meanwhile the medical department, according to Ting, had set up a swab center at a shophouse next to the Tamu for the next 2 days and will test as many people.

Ting said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has been proactive in giving the public as much information as possible on the case.

“Ultimately, it is up to the public to follow SOP and to continue practicing them diligently for their own safety. No amount of info will stop the spreading if we don’t keep ourselves safe,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Bus Transport Company Association’s adviser, Lau Khing Seng lamented on the impact of the case on the business of the bus companies plying the Jalan Teku-Kampung Bahagia Jaya route.

“People are scared of using the Jalan Teku -Kampung Bahagia buses now. Bus companies have already been affected by the pandemic and with these four Indonesian cases, the effect is more devastating,” he lamented. -DayakDaily