Sarawak businesses to shut from 7pm to 7am starting Tuesday

Kuching North City Hall officer putting up a notice on the temporary closure of non-essential business premises during the movement control period. – Star picture.

By Jack Lapidus

THE Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) has announced that all hypermarkets, supermarkets, markets, coffee shops, private clinics, restaurants, 24-hour convenience stores and petrol stations in Sarawak will have to close from 7pm to 7am from March 24 to 31.

This new directive from the committee to tackle Covid-19 will no doubt create further tensions as most coffee shops and wet markets across the state open as early as 5am.

However, JPBN in a statement today said that the new order was necessary to stop public movement which is still heavy in certain places.

It will not affect all those helping in the current operation enforcement like the police, military, medical workers and immigration officers.

“The new requirement is another strategy of the committee to combat the Covid-19 from further transmission,” it said.

In addition, the committee also directed that all supermarkets, hypermarkets, markets, pharmacies and private clinics are now required to do social distancing at their respective premises.

The police will check the implementation randomly.

“The owners are also advised to carry out temperature checks on their customers and to provide the hand sanitizes,” it said.

Meanwhile, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the Sarawak Health Department is looking at the possibility of setting up a temporary respiratory clinic in Kuching in the next two days.

“Anyone with respiratory complaints can visit the clinic,” he said.

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