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Not All Barbers Agree With Govt’s Decision To Resume Business During MCO 3

Not All Barbers Agree With Govt’s Decision To Resume Business During MCO 3

Tasneem Nazari

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Malaysians struggling with their unkempt hair rejoiced at the fact that barbershops have just been given the green-light to continue operating despite the further extension of the MCO.

However, it turns out that the barbers don’t share their joy.

The Selangor and Federal Territories Indian Hairstylists Association disagrees with the government’s decision to allow barbershops and salons to resume service.

Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, the association’s chairman, Ganathiban Murugan said that he was unsure why the government made such a move that risked their health considering the fact that they would not be able to know which of their customers could potentially be exposing them to the virus.

In supermarkets, people have to stand at least 1 metre away from each other, but to cut hair we have to come into close contact with our customers. How do we keep a safe distance from them?

Ganathiban Murugan via FMT
Barbers would be unable to keep a safe distance from customers while cutting hair. (Credit: The Star)

In the United States, news outlets reported of a beloved barber who died from Covid-19 after he didn’t shut down and continued to accept clients while the epidemic raged on.

Eugene Thompson, 46, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, died on Saturday (4 April), less than a month after testing positive for the infection.

Ganathiban shared that the association members have been discussing what safety measures they could apply to their businesses, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while cutting hair, temperature screening their customers, and allowing only one customer to be inside the shop at a time. 

Is it possible (to implement)? I don’t know. We have had to close since March 18, why not wait till after April 28?

Ganathiban Murugan via FMT

He stressed that barbers need to be able to work in an environment where they do not feel afraid and added that this was why he felt their services should only resume once the situation is under control.

In Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s statement regarding the sectors that are allowed to operate during the MCO, he stated that businesses which would like to resume their services would need to apply for permission on the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s website before doing so.

These businesses would have to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government or their permit to operate could be revoked.


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