Weekly self-tests on MBKS hawkers, operators starting October

Wee speaking about regular testing at hawker centres, markets and coffeeshops starting October.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Sept 18: Random operators, employees of hawker centres, markets and coffeeshops under Kuching South City Council’s (MBKS) jurisdiction will be selected for swab tests every week starting October.

MBKS mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng said five or 10 individuals will be picked randomly from each section of a premise to be swabbed using Covid-19 self-test kits.

“Take for example the Stutong market, there are sections for vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. So, every week, we (MBKS) will pick five or 10 hawkers from each section to get tested using the self-test kits.

“This is MBKS’ plan starting October. Of course, we will start (this initiative) with our own markets first.

“I think this is necessary to protect everyone, both the operators and customers,” he said during his Facebook live session today.

On the cost of testing, Wee said the council will look into it, but it will not be the main concern as people’s lives are more important.

He also viewed the regular testing as the most efficient way to curb the spread of Covid-19 as Sarawak slowly transitions into the endemic phase.

Meanwhile, he stressed that symptomatic individuals will not be tested under this initiative, but would be sent directly for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

“For those who already have symptoms, we will not do self-tests (on them). They will go directly for PCR tests.

“And anyone who has symptoms will not be allowed to trade. That’s the basic condition for all hawker centres and markets under MBKS,” he added. — DayakDaily