In the midst of the pandemic, it can be hard to stay afloat. Most businesses are struggling to cope as everything has slowed to a halt. It doesn’t help when their workers get diagnosed with Covid-19 as well.
On Sunday (13th June), the De Happy Land Restaurant (乐园茶餐室) in Subang Jaya was closed by the Ministry of Health to screen their hawkers. The closing order was made after 10 hawkers were diagnosed with the virus.
Subang Jaya councillor Lee Jen Uyin verified that the number of confirmed cases from the De Happy Land Restaurant has increased from 9 to 10. The confirmed patients are between 33 to 60 years old. According to Sin Chew Daily, the restaurant had its first confirmed case on 7th June. After hawkers were diagnosed one after another, the shop was ordered to closed. All employees and hawkers of the restaurant have been tested and are undergoing self-quarantine. It has not been announced how long the shop will be closed for.
Aside from the De Happy Land Restaurant, the Ministry also intends to screen other shops in the USJ14 area. This is not boding well for other local businesses as when one is affected, all are affected. The restaurants will be closing their shops in turns to allow time off for their workers to get tested. Restaurant Yong Sheng (永胜咖啡店) which is only a street away from the De Happy Land Restaurant, will be closed for a day. Their employees and hawkers will be using the day off to get tested. Another shop is scheduled to be closed on 16th June to screen their workers.
This is only one way other shops in the area have been affected by the diagnosis. A nearby restaurant stated that since the hawkers were diagnosed, their businesses have dropped sharply. People have not dare to risk their health to drop by or order takeaway. Others have expressed hope that the government will arrange for those working in the food industry to be vaccinated as soon as possible. They hope this will help reduce the risk of infection as they come into contact with different customers every day.
Initially, the plan for the De Happy Land Restaurant was to be closed 2 days a month. However, the epidemic has changed that. The business owner shared that they are currently focused on arranging days off for their workers to get tested. Overall, it is a grim outlook for hawker stalls and the like.