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Spike in COVID-19 cases worrying; Gov’t needs to reconsider Ramadan bazaars
Posted on : 19 Apr 2021  Source of News: Focus Malaysia

THERE have been mixed feelings about Ramadan bazaars, given their potential to spread the COVID-19 virus.

It doesn’t help also that the number of cases have been on the rise lately, and that authorities have received numerous complaints about people not following the proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the bazaars.

In Terengganu, for instance, Ramadan bazaar organisers have been found ignoring the required SOPs, including not providing equipment such as barrier ropes, temperature scanners and one-way routes as required by the Government.

Bazaar patrons, too, were found ignoring physical distancing as they went about shopping and choosing their Ramadan delicacies.

States like Kelantan and Sabah, alongside the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Kuching South City Council (MBKS) have called off their Ramadan bazaars to curb COVID-19 infections.

With a real possibility of Malaysia being hit by a fourth wave, I feel that other states should consider following suit.

Of course, people have every right to go to Ramadan bazaars, but SOPs such as observing physical distancing has been proven to be extremely difficult to adhere to.

Regardless the type of enforcement, there is still high risk of close contact. People are bound to come in close contact with each other at some point, and this is extremely dangerous.

Health experts previously warned that Malaysians must do all they can to prevent another spike of cases, and the bazaars have the potential to unravel our collective efforts to keep the virus at bay.

They said that real-time data and field observations are providing signals of an impending fourth wave, with people’s behaviour being the major contributing factor to the rising cases.

No matter how low the cases are in every district or state, this is simply not the time to hold any events with large crowds of people in attendance. Doing so would be – to put it bluntly – courting unnecessary trouble.

All that is needed is for just one COVID-19 positive person to venture into the grounds of the bazaar without adhering to the proper SOPS and there we have it – a disaster waiting to happen.

This is not the time to let our guards down, people. It is our responsibility to do all we can to curb the spread of COVID-19, and if this means banning Ramadan bazaars, then so be it. – April 18, 2021