Sibu traders get swab tested prior to reopening of markets, Ramadan bazaar

SIBU, April 7: Long queues were the order of the day as hundreds of petty traders lined up to take swab tests at the active case detection exercise at the town square here today.

The traders were required to undergo swab tests before they are allowed to recommence business. They are from Pasar Tamu Taman Indah which will reopen on April 10, and Night Market on April 9.

Others were intending to participate in the upcoming Ramadan Bazaar.

Heavy rain which started at 11.45am caused some delays.

Night market trader, Ahmad Risauddin, 44, who sells banana fritters and fried noodles was among those queuing up.

“I am very happy that after three months of closure, we can start trading again. During that temporary closure of the market, I was into online selling of affordable clothes as I needed income for my family,” he said.

Ahmad who is a second generation night market trader, reckoned that when business reopens, he would have 50 per cent less customers as compared to pre-Covid-19.

“I feel that with the pandemic still in our midst, our business will be badly affected. But with the reopening of the market, it is better than having no income,” he added.

Another trader, Wong Ing Hook, 49, who helps his mother operate a ladieswear stall at the night market, concurred with Ahmad.

“During the last three months of temporary closure, we had no income at all. Luckily my mother’s siblings helped us to tide over the difficult period by giving us money for our upkeeping,” he said.

When Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) announced that the night market would reopen starting this Friday (April 9), his family felt relieved.

“Though the pandemic is still there, being able to open our stall is good enough. If we don’t work, where can we get our income?” he asked.

Meanwhile trader Ibrahim Lamat, 62, is looking forward to the Ramadan Bazaar at Kampung Hilir.

“I hope the public will come to support us though the Covid-19 situation here is still not that good,” said Ibrahim who will be operating a beverage stall.

SMC in reopening the night market and Pasar Tamu Taman Indah wants hawkers and the public to strictly comply with the Standard of Procedure (SOP) during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) such as wearing facemasks, checking body temperatures, and checking in online using MySejahtera.

They must also practise social distancing at all times. — DayakDaily