With non-essential businesses starting to re-open in some places after months of lockdown, business owners are facing another challenge as spots of mould have appeared on products lying untouched for weeks now. According to reports, a store owner in Malaysia's George town opened his shop after 50 days of coronavirus lockdown only to find fungus growing on some leather products that were kept on display in his showroom.
Mr Chong, who reportedly owns a travel and cold wear store at a shopping mall in Penang's Pulau Tikus found moulds growing on some wallets, bags, backpacks, and other leather items when he opened his shop on Monday, May 11. However, Mr Chong has said that the moulds did not ruin the products as he was able to clean them with a clean piece of cloth and oil. He said that the moulds must have grown due to humid temperature as the air conditioning in the mall was shut for the entire period of lockdown.
Another store owner at the same shopping mall told the press that she found dust on her products when she opened her shop as they were unable to clean it before the lockdown started. She said that most of the items in her store are safe because they managed to put them inside storage with plastic covers to protect before the restrictions were imposed.
Malaysia imposed the movement control order (MCO) on March 18, which has since been extended three times, each for two weeks. The ease in COVID-19 curbs came on May 4, allowing the majority of economic sectors to resume work. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday said that almost half of the country's workforce has returned to work, which is an estimated 6.64 million people. However, restrictions on religious gatherings, inter-state travel, schools, colleges, and other non-essential services have not been lifted yet and the country will reportedly extend the MCO until June 9.
According to figures by worldometer website, Malaysia has recorded 6,742 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, of which 109 people have lost their lives. There are currently 1,410 active infections in the country with 16 of them under critical condition. Malaysia has successfully treated 5,223 patients to date. The rate of new infections in the country is steadily going down and the mortality remains low compared to other southeast Asian countries and developed economies around the globe.