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KUCHING, July 27 — Stutong Community Market has been instructed to close for 14 days after 11 positive Covid-19 cases were detected there, said Kuching South Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng.

Wee said about 500 hawkers operating at the market were requested to undergo swab tests last week, following the detection of one positive case among the hawkers.

He added that this has led to the detection of an additional of 10 positive cases.

“We do not have the full details yet but the 11 positive cases comprised of hawkers and their helpers,” Wee told The Borneo Post.

Following the detection of Covid-19 cases at the market, Wee said the Ministry of Health had ordered the market to be closed from July 27 to Aug 9 to allow a full investigation and tracing to be carried out.

Wee said they city council would decide how best to reopen the market if the Covid-19 situation at the market is not getting any more serious in the next few days.

“We cannot afford to open the market when the Covid-19 situation is not clear. Our intention is to ensure the safety and health of the public when they go to the market.”

The market was initially asked to close for four days from July 23 to 26 due to the detection of a positive case there, with businesses originally slated to resume today (July 27).

Wee hoped the hawkers and members of the public would give their cooperation in creating a safe environment for the market-goers and the city council would assist to enable hawkers to resume their business as soon as possible.

“We hope the Ministry of Health will complete their investigation soon and allowing the situation to be sorted out so that the hawkers can come back to work.

“We are also concerned about the hawkers who are not able to work for 14 days and not having any income. Hopefully, there is no more new positive cases at the market.”

Wee had previously proposed that all hawkers who have received the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine be given a certificate by the council to instill confidence in their patrons.

“We are planning to award certificate for hawkers who are fully vaccinated and operating in markets under our jurisdiction. This is the least we can do to make sure all the business operators had received their second dose.”

The mayor emphasised that whatever policies the council is planning to implement are with the best interest of the public in mind.

As for the Sungai Apong Market that was closed for three days from July 22 to 24, Wee assured the public that all of the hawkers who resumed their business since Sunday (July 25) have been cleared of the coronavirus. — Borneo Post

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