Many barbers have been forced to change industries to stay afloat during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Revealing this to Bernama, Penang Hairdressers Association treasurer V Tharmaraj said this includes resorting to selling nasi lemak, becoming cooks or temporary factory works.

Hence, Tharmaraj has appealed to the government to exempt them from restrictions under the Movement Control Order (MCO), as they are prepared to resume operations under tighter regulations.

"I feel the SOP at hair salons are among the tightest and this far I have yet to hear of any cluster from hair salons.

"We only had the opportunity to recover after being badly affected by the first MCO before being shut down again," he said.

According to him further, he has received appeal for help from many of the 60 hair salons which are members of the association, who fall under the B40 group, as they can hardly afford to feed their families.

Malaysia has continuously recorded COVID-19 cases in the four digits since January, even breaching the 5,000 mark.

The government has allowed only essential businesses to operate during the MCO, which lasts until Feb 4, but hair salons are excluded from the list.

To date, a total of 219,173 people have been infected by the disease and 770 people have died from it.

The global coronavirus infection and death tally has surpassed 103 million and 2.24 million, respectively.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Astro Awani