Forum: Let elderly hawkers do routine tests at home

I refer to the article "Seniors urged not to dine at hawker centres" (Oct 2). I appreciate the Government's initiative in urging seniors to avoid dining at hawker centres and to take away food instead.

This is a clear directive that has helped children with elderly parents, like myself, to be able to give clear instructions to our parents.

However, I cannot help but wonder, what about the elderly folk who are working at hawker centres then?

As a daughter of an elderly father who works as a hawker, I understand that seeing daily news of hawker centres being closed down for cleaning owing to Covid-19 cases is causing fear and anxiety among hawkers.

Hawkers are constantly worrying that their hawker centre will be the next to be closed down. On top of the fear of contracting Covid-19, they are also concerned about their livelihoods.

The elderly have been advised to minimise their movements, especially during this period.

Yet, interestingly enough, the regular FET (fast and easy testing) rostered routine testing for staff and employees of food and beverage establishments, including hawkers, is not done at home but at designated areas.

Travelling is required whenever they have to go for their regular tests, and the frequency of this exercise has also been increased from once every fortnight to once a week.

Undoubtedly, children of elderly hawkers like myself are worried for our vulnerable elderly parents in such situations, yet we also feel helpless against the measures put in place by the Government.

One can only hope that the situation will improve soon and that as a nation, we can be responsible in keeping our elderly folk safe during this time.

Yeow Beng Zhen

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