K.TGNU WHOLESALE MARKET TRADERS COMPLY WITH LIMITED HOURS DIRECTIVE

BALQIS JAMALUDIN

KUALA TERENGGANU, March 22 (Bernama) -- Despite the pressures of operating within a shorter period of time following the Movement Control Order, traders at the Gong Pauh Wholesale Market here appear to be in compliance with the directive issued by the authorities.

The Kuala Terengganu City Council (MBKT) had ordered wholesale markets to operate only from 3 am to 9 am, effective yesterday.

A Bernama survey at the only wholesale market in Kuala Terengganu found traders began packing up and cleaning their business premises from as early as 8.30 am, and all business premises were completely closed by 9 am.

An announcement on the closure was made via loudspeaker, while a number of MBKT enforcement officers patrolled the market to ensure traders complied with the instructions.

Members of the public and traders were also seen complying with COVID-19 outbreak prevention measures such as wearing facemasks and gloves.

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Some traders were also seen offering cheaper prices before shutting for the day.

Fishmonger Rahmat Wahab, 59, for example, was offering lower prices for his stock of fish and squid, as they may go bad if left unsold.

“The market usually closes between 10-11 am, but now we have to close by 9 am. There is a lot of fish yet to be sold, so I am offering them at a cheaper price.

“Even yesterday, several kilogrammes of squid went unsold, so I just gave them out to the public. It’s better to give away than have them go bad,” he said when met by Bernama at the market here today.

Meanwhile, fruitseller Norlida Razali, 42, said it was the responsibility of traders to comply with the directive to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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"Definitely, sales have been down since the order was issued, but that's alright because it's only temporary. Instead of us losing much more in the future due to COVID-19, it’s better to lose a little now,” she said.

MBKT has also ordered all supermarkets (groceries only), public markets, pharmacies, and convenience stores, as well as premises rendering important government services, to only operate from 7 am to 6 pm, while all clinics are only allowed to operate from 7 am to 9.30 pm.

Meanwhile, at major supermarkets in Kuala Terengganu, the public was seen complying with the rule of only having the head of the family or one representative come out to purchase essential items.

Rohayati Deraman, 45, when met said this was a good decision that could reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

"If there is a need to buy something or other important business, only my husband or I will come out and the children will all sit at home until the situation recovers," said the mother of six.

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TAGS: order, wholesale, market, COVID-19, operating hours, MBKT, head of family