Geylang Serai Market Remains Overcrowded, Minister Masagos Explains Why It’s Not Okay

The most important thing we need to remember about practicing social distancing is why we must practice it at all costs.

This is perhaps the reason why hundreds of Singaporeans are still getting fined for disregarding Circuit Breaker rules like wearing masks or standing at least 1m apart from each other.

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Minister Masagos witnessed a troubling scene at Geylang Serai market on Sunday morning with his team — spotting at least 200 people in queue to enter the premises.

Here’s what he had to say about the situation in a Facebook post on 19 Apr.

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200 people queuing at Geylang Serai market

Minister Masagos shared that he observed long queues at “several markets” over the weekend.

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In particular, ever-popular Geylang Serai Market had a 30-min waiting time and around 200 patrons queuing to enter.

Tekka Market, however, had no visible queues. In the west, at 505 Jurong West, queues moved quickly– allowing customers to visit within 10 min.

Buying fresh groceries is important, but ensure safety first

Households are understandably anxious to ensure that they can purchase enough fresh produce to cook meals for the family, now that everyone’s staying home.

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Minister Masagos took the time the assure his followers that he knew grocery shopping at supermarkets or wet markets remain a priority for most Singaporeans.

However, he believes we can space out our visiting hours to avoid peak timings like weekends to “minimise crowding”.

He also advised visiting “less popular markets” to mitigate congestion.

Overcrowded markets could become new clusters

Putting a strain on the human capacity of popular markets in Singapore may risk the emergence of new clusters where people are gathered “over a prolonged period”, shared the minister.

In his words,

Old habits die hard. If we let our guard down a moment…it could result in another Covid-19 infection cluster.

We must remain alert to minimise community spread, or our Circuit Breaker measures will be for naught — due to the contagious nature of the coronavirus.

Singapore remains a fine city

The minister closed his post by sharing statistics on the number of Singaporeans who have flouted safe-distancing and mask-wearing rules:

  • Did not practice safe-distancing (>240 people fined)
  • Did not wear mask outside homes (>120 people fined)
  • Repeat offenders (10 people fined $1,000)

Practice restraint, everything in moderation

From the minister’s advice, we can see that despite the government’s best efforts to encourage us to keep our social distance, select individuals are still not following the rules.

Now, more than ever, we have to practice restraint to ensure our personal safety & the safety of those dearest to us.

In the unlikely event that we do go out, make sure to protect yourselves by donning a face mask & adhering to safe-distancing measures.

If we remember why these rules are important, we’re sure more Singaporeans will be cooperative & understanding about them, even without the possibility of getting fined.

Featured image adapted from Minister Masagos on Facebook & Google Maps.