TANAH MERAH, April 12 — Barbers do not want to create new clusters in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic despite being allowed to operate during the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

A barber Tuan Syafiq Izat Tuan Zaib, 24, who operated a barber shop in Jalan Wan Rahmat here said, despite the high demand from customers during this period, people’s lives must be considered as well.

“Most probably, I would offer my services from home through personal appointments as this would limit the number of customers per day. I don’t want my premise to create a new cluster,” he said when contacted by Bernama here, today.

The media recently reported that International Trade and Industry Ministry had allowed several sectors such as automotive, construction and selected services including the basic hair cut facility to begin operating in stages throughout the third phase of MCO until April 28.

Tuan Syafiq said if he were to offer his services from home, he would seriously take into account his safety and that of his customers, although it would be impossible to exercise social distancing given the nature of his job.

Meanwhile, in KUALA LUMPUR, the Selangor and Federal Territories Indian Hairstylists’ Association (PJRISWP) also expressed a similar concern and appealed to the government and the National Security Council (MKN) to close barber shop operations until phase 3 of the MCO ends on April 28.

Association chairman Ganathiban Murugan said, in a statement, that the hair cutting process posed a high risk of COVID-19 infection since it was impossible for the barber and his customers to practice social distancing.

At the same time, the scissors used were the same for all customers, which would further contribute to the risk of COVID-19 infection, he said in a statement addressed to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In addition, if permission is granted only to those operating in the green zone, the possibility of customers from the red zone visiting the barber shop in the green zone during the MCO period is very high, and this could disrupt the fight against COVID-19.

Ganathiban said, despite the fact that PJRISWP members had suffered losses due to the closure of their businesses since the MCO came into force on March 18, it still supported and complied with all the rules imposed by the Government with the MKN during the MCO period. 


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