Two days ago, you might not have heard about Yong Thai Hang. Even if you have, it probably is one of your friends’ name.
The shop was thrust into public spotlight when it was revealed yesterday that a Chinese tour group had infected two employees in the shop on 23 January 2020.
A domestic worker of one of the employees was also infected while the tour guide with the group, despite not having any symptoms, was tested positive for the Wuhan virus, too.
According to public records, the shop was incorporated only in 2017, and its shopfront looks like it has not left the 1800s.
See the hotel beside it?
The manager of the hotel told The Straits Times that there hasn’t been any activity around the shop in the last three days.
Well, because it’s allegedly a shop catered to Chinese tourists, much like the Yong Peng Rest Stop that caters to us Singaporeans.
Yong Thai Hang, The Yong Peng of JB
If you’ve taken a bus to any parts of Malaysia except JB, you’d know about the famous “Yong Peng Rest Stop”.
Basically, almost all buses would stop there for a break, and it’s rumoured that rest stop paid bus companies to have a break there.
Not that we mind; the food’s pretty good although it’s a tad expensive.
It’s of course unknown if Yong Thai Hang does the same thing to tour agencies, but their neighbour said that the area is usually quiet except for Chinese tour groups that come by often.
On average, seven to eight buses would come by, with each bus carrying a group of about 20 Chinese tourists.
Why’s this important, you ask.
That means it’s likely that no Singaporean had visited the shop.
I mean, if I were there, I’d probably just take a selfie at the entrance with the hashtag #timetravelto1800s
Yong Thai Hang’s Doors Are Often Closed
According to a shopkeeper nearby, the shop often has its doors closed. She added, “Whenever a tour bus comes, the tourists either enter the shop or some of the tourists will linger outside.”
And here’s why this is important, too: a shop filled with more than 20 people without its doors open is a breeding ground for human-to-human transmission.
It’s believed that due to the China tourist ban, the shop hasn’t been active since a few days back.
In the meantime, stay vigilant and if there’s one lesson from this, it’s this: wear a surgical mask if you’re not feeling well.