Imperiled by new clusters, market vendors gear up for their health

first_imgWorking daily in a place deemed to pose a high risk of COVID-19 contagion, some traditional wet market vendors have taken precautions related to the viral outbreak, as they worry about their health as much as they do their financial struggles.Satibi, 39, has been wearing a face mask and gloves while butchering chickens during the pandemic, something he had never done since starting his business eight years ago in Rawasari Market in Cempaka Putih, Central Jakarta. He said he always sprayed his money box with alcohol before tidying up his cash during the pandemic.“We are just human beings who are worried, just like others,” Satibi said. Read also: Indonesian wet markets carry high risk of virus transmissionSiti Purwani, a staple food vendor in Serdang Market in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, preferred to improve her immune system by consuming herbal drinks and vitamin C, aside from wearing a mask. She said she also relied on hand sanitizer, because wearing gloves would hinder her, for instance, when preparing bags of cooking oil.She also demanded that the market management deploy more officers to patrol the area and ban customers that belong to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children and pregnant women, after she several times spotted them among market visitors during the pandemic.“Because [people] will listen better to officers without being offended, rather than to us, sellers who are ordinary people.”Some vendors have been facing a dilemma since the outbreak hit Jakarta in March: Running their business on site could increase the risk of infection, not only among themselves but also market visitors. But these traders need to make ends meet.About 3,244 vendors from 110 wet markets, out of more than 100,000 vendors in roughly 150 wet markets across the city, have provided a safer alternative to direct purchasing: a shop-from-home service allowing customers to purchase daily needs via phone call or text message. But many sellers have found it less successful because customers prefer to shop directly at the market.Siti and Nainggolan, for instance, said they attracted only up to five shop-from-home customers per week.Jakarta itself never fully closed its traditional markets during the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), but restricted their operations by banning vendors selling non-staple food from operating in markets.Read also: Bandung to close three markets after sellers tested positive for COVID-19And now Jakarta is transitioning to the so-called “new normal”, gradually easing the PSBB and reopening the economy, at the same time trying to prevent contagion with heightened health protocols.As of Monday, the Indonesian Traditional Market Traders Association (IKAPPI) had recorded 64 vendors in Jakarta having contracted the virus since the outbreak started, out of a total of 573 vendors nationwide having the virus, raising concern that new clusters may emerge as the country begins to ease the coronavirus curbs.The IKAPPI has issued a health protocol for vendors and market managers that includes guidelines on the distance between stalls, plastic curtains between traders and customers, body temperature checks and routine disinfecting since March. It has also established a task force to disseminate the protocol to traditional markets nationwide during the new normal period and ensure their compliance.IKAPPI chairman Dimas Hermadiyansyah, however, acknowledged many vendors nationwide were negligent about health protocols. He called on local governments to strictly impose the protocol to keep everyone in the markets safe.“Now that the Jakarta administration is easing restrictions, we are worried that traditional markets will become [a source of] infection because human-to-human interaction is high there,” he said.Read also: Sellers in markets, malls, required to wear masks, face shields and gloves in ‘new normal’: Trade MinistryNainggolan, another staple food vendor at Serdang Market, said he sometimes had to remind customers swarming in front of his stall to disperse.He said he was worried about contagion. Yet he said he had no option but to keep his business running during the outbreak that has financially hit most traditional vendors in Serdang Market as a result of fewer customers.As of Monday, 23 vendors at Serdang Market had contracted the virus, which Nainggolan believed to have been caused by an abundance of people flocking to the market a week before the Idul Fitri holiday.“Customer numbers surged by around 10 times. The worst was three days before Idul Fitri,” Nainggolan said, suggesting the market management enforce stricter control ahead of the Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice) holiday in late July.Following reports that jostling crowds at traditional markets remained, Pasar Jaya imposed an odd-even kiosk number policy starting on Monday during the new normal period. The policy allows odd-numbered kiosks to open only on odd dates and even-numbered kiosks to open on even dates.Epidemiologist Windhu Purnomo suggested local governments issue more prevention measures at traditional markets with strict enforcement to prevent new infections, at the same time not putting aside their livelihood.Topics : Satibi said he was particularly concerned about being infected after 14 fellow vendors tested positive last week, prompting Jakarta-owned market operator Pasar Jaya to close down the market for three consecutive days for disinfectant spraying.But even though he had been wearing personal protective equipment, he said he sometimes loosened his mask to breathe fresh air when no customers were around, as it was hot and stuffy inside the building.He found that patrolling officers — the market’s internal security guards, as well as military and police personnel — were not present all the time to remind sellers and customers to implement health protocols.”It would be nice if everyone in the market voluntarily complied with these protocols,” Satibi said.last_img read more

Murray attempts to win doubles medal

first_imgHe and Australian partner John Peers play in the final of the US Open.They take on French duo Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.After that it’s an all-Italian women’s final, where Roberta Vinci follows her victory over Serena Williams by taking on Flavia Pennetta.last_img

Electoral College to Decide the Presidential Election on December 19

first_imgShare807Tweet2Share11Email820 SharesMap of the United States Electoral College / US Embassy CanadaNovember 17, 2017; Washington PostThe presidential election is not yet over. How the Trump transition team behaves between now and December 19th matters. On that day, electors of the Electoral College cast their ballots. Only then does America have a properly elected president who will take the oath of office on January 20th.Clinton’s lead in the popular vote now exceeds 1.3 million. Factor in votes for third party candidates and 53.1 percent of voters cast their ballots for candidates other than Trump. Trump is the fifth “president-elect” in US history to lose the nation’s total popular vote while winning the Electoral College vote. George W. Bush was the fourth in 2000. JFK’s election in 1960 was “disputed.” Presently, 4.4 million people have signed a petition asking Electoral College electors to vote for Clinton. Electors are being individually lobbied and sometimes harassed.Political parties select their electors, and it is fully expected that the electors will gather at their respective state capitals to cast their votes as pledged on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Electors choosing not to vote according to their pledges will still have their votes counted. These so-called “faithless electors” would break their pledge by voting for someone else or choosing not to vote. There have been 157 faithless electors since the advent of the Electoral College. Unpledged electors have no pledge to break.It speaks to Clinton’s dignity and her commitment to the peaceful constitutional transfer of power that she is not publicly promoting this or any other petition to contest the election.This Washington Post article looks at the internal workings of the Electoral College in ways that will escape most civics classes. The Office of the Federal Register administers the Electoral College. The Post reports that OFR staff are being bombarded with questions, rants, and much worse. The Electors sign their respective state’s electoral certificates and send them to Congress and to a particular division within OFR.There are usually a handful of states that screw something up. Either the governor didn’t sign the certificate, or they didn’t put the state seal on it, or they got the election date wrong—in which case [the Legal Affairs and Policy] division says “try again.” Then, [staff attorney Miriam Vincent] and her colleagues compare its 51 certificates to the ones received by Congress, to make sure everything checks out. And then we have a president.Here is an entertaining 2:30-minute video produced by the New York Times explaining the Electoral College.There are initiatives to amend or eliminate the Electoral College, such as The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. “A lot of people have been asking or advocating or yelling that we need to go back to the popular vote, but there is no ‘back,’” Vincent says. “Because this is how it’s been since 1789.”In the Electoral College, each state is represented by appointed electors equal in number to the state’s members in Congress. These electors are expected to cast their votes for the candidates selected by the popular vote in their state. The political parties in each state appoint the electors. If a state has a tie between elector votes, the tie breaking process is different for each state. The Electoral College is one of the most controversial, ridiculed and misunderstood parts of the US Constitution. Some myths persist about the Electoral College. In explaining one, the Washington Post reminds us of our history.The important division was between states that relied on slavery and those that didn’t, not between large and small states. A direct election for president did not sit well with most delegates from the slave states, which had large populations but far fewer eligible voters. They gravitated toward the Electoral College as a compromise because it was based on population. The convention had agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of calculating each state’s allotment of seats in Congress.The U.S. is one of the few countries that elect their heads of state indirectly. Pakistan is another. Many countries have direct elections, while others such as the UK have monarchs as heads of state, directly electing their legislature or parliament. All in all, as contentious as our elections can be, America can be proud of its traditions and commitment to the rule of law.—James SchafferShare807Tweet2Share11Email820 Shareslast_img read more