PETALING JAYA, May 8 — Being separated from his loved ones hasn’t been easy for frontline worker Sapri Tajuddin.
When Covid-19 cases began to climb earlier this year, Sapri had his wife and daughter travel to stay with his in-laws in Yogyakarta, Indonesia before the movement control order (MCO) kicked in on March 18.
The Lalamove rider from Tawau, Sabah told Malay Mail that it was the best way to keep them safe from any health risks as he spends most of his time outdoors in a customer-facing job.
He’s only been able to communicate with his family via daily phone calls since then, but they remain at the forefront of his thoughts as he continues to fulfil deliveries across Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
“They’re really concerned with my wellbeing. But I assure them in our daily call that I always practise precautionary measures when delivering, such as putting on a face mask, sanitising my hands regularly and observing physical distancing.
“Since I’m always outdoors to do my job, I don’t want to expose my family to the risk of the outbreak. I’m happy that they’re in good hands with my in-laws
“I’m here for my family so I have to keep on working to earn a living. The delivery orders increase a lot during the MCO and I know I can’t let these opportunities for higher income slip by,” said Sapri.
As Malaysians embrace a new normal during Ramadan, Sapri said he’s been fulfilling more food deliveries for those looking to buka puasa with their families at home.
He starts work at 8am and signs off at 7pm, noting that the number of delivery requests has shot up as people are urged to stay at home in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Before the MCO, he received up to 10 orders a day with a return of around RM150.
Now, he can earn RM280 per day from delivering more than 25 orders a day.
Sapri is also saving up funds to build a house in Yogyakarta for his family.
He added that he was glad to see customers taking precautionary steps when receiving their Ramadan goodies and said that many of them are mindful of social distancing, contactless delivery, and hand sanitising.
“If the customers come out to greet me, they keep their distance when I pass their items. One of them even offered to sanitise my hands with a sanitising spray before I passed her item.
“Although I always sanitise my hands before I pass an item, I’m more than happy to oblige to the customer’s additional sanitising measure if it makes them feel safer.”
When asked what helped him stay motivated on the job, Sapri said the need to provide for his wife and daughter were his main sources of strength, especially in a period of economic uncertainty.
He was also proud to serve the country as an essential worker and hoped that his contribution could help Malaysians get the goods they need as they stay safe at home.
“I’m proud to be in the position that I’m in today. If I can deliver to 25 customers a day throughout the MCO, I can help more than 1,000 people to get their essentials without them stepping out of their houses.
“This is a minor contribution from my part to our community in their times of need.”