Three days into the “Circuit Breaker” yet people can still be seen on the streets of Singapore. The Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, visited the Geylang Serai and Tekka Markets this morning (10 April) to check on the situation and shared his observation to his Facebook.
Mr Masagos pointed out that the queue at Geylang Serai Market is still very long, and that crowds are still bunching up. He added that the Safe Distancing Ambassadors and Enforcement Officers have been doing their best to manage the situation. Despite more people were seen wearing face masks, many of them were still lingering at the market.
Seeing how there are long queues and crowds at the market although the Government had urged Singaporeans to practise social distancing, Mr Masagos announced that most of the stallholders at Geylang Serai Market will extend their opening hours to 5pm tomorrow and Sunday. This has been decided so that patrons need not rush to the markets to purchase necessities during peak hours that could attract large crowds.
He had also noticed that a fish stallholders at Tekka Market placed styrofoam boxes in front of their stalls to create sufficient spacing between patrons. Since there were relatively lesser people at Tekka Market, Mr Masagos suggested people to shop there instead.
In regards to the long queues that could be caused by slow-moving patrons, Mr Masagos urged everyone to not linger in the markets when they are making purchases, and that patrons should make a list of things they wanted to buy before heading to the market. He had also asked the patrons to exit the market as soon as they are done with their purchase so that other people could also purchase what they need.
“What can we as consumers do to help? I urge everyone not to linger in the market when buying your groceries. Make a list of the items that you need before you head out. This way, you can move quickly through the market. Exit the market as soon as you can, so that others will have a chance to buy what they need,” wrote Mr Masagos.
He had also suggested patrons head out for grocery shopping during the weekdays or to markets with fewer people to avoid getting into crowds. Mr Masagos urged elderly people to avoid going out and about to purchase groceries, especially at the wet market as they are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.
“Do your marketing during weekdays, or go to other markets which are not as busy. For our elderly, do avoid visiting the wet markets, and get others to help if you need food or essential items. Our elderly are the most vulnerable to this virus.”
Mr Masagos ended his Facebook post hoping that Singaporeans can work together to prevent creating new clusters of COVID-19 by complying with the new measures.