COVID turns busy Sibu Central Market into quiet place
Tarikh : 03 Feb 2021  Sumber Berita: The Sun Daily

Pasar Sentral Sibu is the biggest market of its kind in Sarawak --fotoBERNAMA (2021) Copyrights ReservedPasar Sentral Sibu is the biggest market of its kind in Sarawak --fotoBERNAMA (2021) Copyrights Reserved

SIBU, Feb 3: The Sibu Central Market, the largest market in Sarawak, would normally be filled with hustle and bustle of big crowds looking to buy daily necessities.

However, the indoor market was exceptionally quiet since Tuesday after the Sibu Municipal Council (MPS) decided to shut it down for two days when a worker there tested positive for COVID-19.

Hawkers stalls were seen covered in canvas while barrier tapes and fences have been installed around the six-storey building with an area of about 18,000 square metres, which has been operating since the end of 1996.

Although the market closure has been announced via various platforms, there were still some people who came to the market only to find it closed for business.

One of them was Sakai Mangga, 65, a regular customer of the market who came all the way from his longhouse in Tanjung Latap, situated about 20 km away from here, by his motorcycle to buy essential goods and was left frustrated when he had to find an alternative.

“I came here at about 10.30 am to buy some vegetables, fish and other daily necessities for a few days supply. I didn’t know the market is closed,” he said when met outside the Sibu Central Market.

Former cook, Lee Yung King, 75, from Taman Bumi Indah, Jalan Oya, was also shocked to see barrier fences at the entrances to the market.

However, as a senior citizen, he realised that he is in one of the high-risk groups and not supposed to spend too much time outside during the pandemic outbreak.

“I need to buy some fresh produce, meat and fish but since the market is closed, I have to immediately return home,” he said.

Another regular customer, Mohammad Drahman, 58, said he was not aware of the market closure announcement as the television at home was conquered by his children.

“I had no idea at all. I can’t even watch the news. All groceries items are available here in the Sibu Central Market and this saves us time. Since the market is closed, I have to buy the goods in several places now,” he said.

Meanwhile, MPS has put up notices on the market’s temporary closure in English, Malay and Mandarin languages around the premises and a number of security guards were seen watching over the entrances to the market.

According to MPS chairman Clarence Ting Ing Horh, the temporary closure was to give way for sanitisation works and sellers to undergo COVID-19 screening tests.- Bernama