SIBU (Feb 6): The Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will tighten enforcement and standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance at outskirts markets in anticipation of a higher volume of visitors ahead of the Lunar New Year, said its market and petty traders standing committee chairman councillor Albert Tiang.
He said this was because members of the public were expected to check out markets outside the town centre following the temporary closure of Sibu Central Market from Feb 8 to 14, after 47 Covid-19 infections were recorded in one week amongst its staff, traders and their family members.
“With CNY celebration fast approaching, we anticipate members of the public to throng markets outside the town centre in particular, Rejang Park and Grand Heights (in Upper Lanang) as the central market will be off limits from Feb 8 till 14.
“In fact, Rejang Park and Grand Heights markets are the second and third largest markets respectively after central market in Sibu. We have engaged security guards from today onwards until CNY eve to man the entry/exit points,” Tiang said today.
He explained that the SMC may resort to control the number of visitors in the market at any one time if needed.
“We may need to control the entry into these premises if the size of the crowd builds up.”
In this regard, he appealed the public to be self-disciplined to avoid the market ending up as another cluster for Covid-19.
“So, when you see many people at the market avoid going in until the crowd thins out. And if you notice more people are going to the market between 6am and 7am then, consider going there at a different time interval,” he suggested.
He reminded the public to maintain social distancing and cooperate with SMC to break the chain of Covid-19 infection.
On another matter, Tiang said that acting on the police instruction, the busy Lembangan Road was temporarily off-limits to ease traffic flow.
Meanwhile, SMC chairman Clarence Ting on Friday, said the closure of central market was in tandem with the directive issued by Sibu Divisional Health Office on Feb 5 to Sibu Municipal Council under Section 18(1)(d) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1998 for the sanitisation of the premises to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The central market was closed for two days from Feb 2 till 3 to facilitate sanitisation work and swab test activities.
It had just reopened its doors to the public on Thursday.