KUCHING: It will be in everyone’s best interest to disallow barber shops and hair salons to resume operation during the third phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), opines the Sarawak Business Federation (SBF).
SBF secretary-general Jonathan Chai opined that the government should listen to the professional views of medical experts to avert creating new Covid-19 infection clusters in the hairdressing industry.
“To be honest with you, without thinking much about the possibility of body contact when cutting hair, I would have initially agreed with the idea of allowing the barber shops and hair salons to operate at minimal level during the MCO period so long as there is due compliance of all hygiene guidelines prescribed by the relevant authorities since there is a necessity for the public to cut their hair after almost a month long quarantine.
“But after re-looking into the comments of the experts from the medical field and with the fear of the possibility of creating new Covid-19 infection clusters at the barber shops and hair salons, I think it would be in the best interest of all to disallow the barber shops and hair salons to start operation during the third phase of the MCO,” he told The Borneo Post here today.
Chai said nobody wanted to put the barbers and the salon workers as well as their customers in unnecessary risk of infection of the deadly virus.
In that line of work, he said it was impossible to practise social distancing between barbers or hairstylists and customers, even only cutting of hair was permitted.
“Furthermore, they would be in the same enclosed space for a considerable period of time and the circulation of air would likely to increase the chance of infection if someone is a carrier of the virus.
“After all, life is much more precious than having a beautiful look,” he pointed out.
In relation to the same issue, Chai said he was quite surprised to learn that Director General of Health Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had proposed to postpone the resumption of operation of the nine sectors involving key areas which had been given the green light to resume operations in stages by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) until after the figures and finding for the third phase of MCO was released.
“Looking at his (Dr Noor Hisham’s) statement, it showed the lack of coordination and consultation between different ministries,” he noted.
Chai opined that the idea of allowing the resumption of operation of certain designated sectors of businesses would be well received by the business community.
He said this was because the move would help to expedite the progress of recovery once the MCO was over.
“But such measures must be carefully implemented with due consideration of the inputs of the medical experts and the Ministry of Health.
“Having said that, I was given to understand that with the stringent guidelines imposed for resuming the business operation, not many businesses, even though allowed to apply for approval by MITI, would be keen to operate during the MCO period,” he added.
Source: Borneo Post