No market left unscrubbed

Daniel Lim

With the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak across the globe, cleanliness and personal hygiene have become hot topics as they are considered some of the most effective ways of combatting the transmission of the coronavirus.

In Brunei, one initiative that has been conducted nationwide is the cleaning of markets.

As one of the points of interest where people gather to buy and sell goods, markets have the potential to spread the virus. Thus, cleaning campaigns have been carried out in popular markets to mitigate the outbreak.

Though small, Wawasan Sungai Liang Market did not escape the attention of the authorities.

Speaking to the Bulletin, Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Penghulu of Mukim Liang Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mumin said in addition to curbing the spread of the virus, cleanliness is deeply embedded in the teachings of Islam, and as such, it is something that should not be taken lightly.

Volunteers clearing away dirt and grime at Wawasan Sungai Liang Market. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
A volunteer trims grass in the surrounding area of the market

“Cleaning campaigns should be held frequently as a form of precaution, in line with the efforts made by the government to ensure cleanliness is maintained at all times amid the current outbreak,” he said.

He added that these efforts should not fall solely on individuals but also within communities and across the nation.

“Today’s campaign will serve as not only a platform for other similar campaigns in the future but also help to raise awareness among citizens of the nation on the importance of keeping our homes and the surrounding environments clean,” he said.

The LegCo member said, “We should be patient and assess the current (outbreak) situation with a calm mind.”

He believed that maintaining personal hygiene is something that everyone can do, which will contribute to the national efforts against the coronavirus.

“This extends to wearing masks when out, avoiding public gatherings and observing social distancing rules.”

These small acts, he said, serve a larger purpose in ensuring that the hospitals won’t be overwhelmed with patients as well as set up a barrier to protect those who are the most at risk from being infected.

“We hope that cleaning campaigns will continue to be held throughout the country as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He also hoped that these campaigns would instil a culture of cleanliness, is found in the Sunnah Rasullulah, in which the teachings not only extend to the cleanliness of oneself, but also beyond in our homes and environment.

As such, he added, the cleaning campaigns not only serve to combat the virus but also promote cleanliness among the populace.