Medical group urges FT Ministry to take Ramadan bazaars online

Danial Dzulkifly
Crowds flock to the Ramadan bazaar in Kg Kanchong Darat to buy food for the breaking of fast, Banting May 22, 2019. The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia advised FT Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa to consider turning the traditional Ramadan bazaar into an online sales and delivery service. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia urged the Federal Territories Ministry to cancel Ramadan bazaars in its jurisdiction to reduce the public’s risk of exposure to Covid-19.

In a statement today, the group advised FT Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa to consider turning the traditional Ramadan bazaar into an online sales and delivery service.

Annuar previously said his ministry has yet to decide whether to cancel Ramadan bazaars outright amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia advised against relaxing social distancing guidelines when there was still no sure way to prevent Covid-19 infections and new cases were still being detected daily.

“The minister was reported to have stated that the bazaars will be modified to prevent congestion at the stalls.

“However it is our opinion that adequate social distancing will be near-impossible to achieve given the popularity and congestion of Ramadan bazaars. Close contact will inevitably occur in parking areas, en-route and between customers and vendors,” it said.

It said the country as a whole has made many sacrifices in the effort to contain Covid-19 and said these should not be wasted by taking unnecessary risks.

“The war against Covid-19 is far from over, and we will need to continue persevering in order to enjoy many more Ramadhans to come.

“Losing this war is not an option,’’ the group said.

Malaysia recorded 140 new Covid-19 cases to reach 2,767 confirmed infections with 43 deaths.

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