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Mandatory Covid-19 screening for foreign workers from Dec 1
Published on: Friday, November 27, 2020
By: NST
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Photo: Bernama
PUTRAJAYA: From Dec 1, all foreign workers nationwide are required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening, with their respective employers bearing the cost of the procedures.

This follows the increasing number of positive cases among them, particularly at factories and construction sites, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the first phase of Covid-19 screening will be carried out in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Labuan and Negri Sembilan and the Human Resources Ministry will enforce the ruling from Dec 1.

"The government had previously decided to conduct a Covid-19 screening test using RTK Antigen for all foreign workers in the country.

"The meeting held today heard a presentation by the Human Resources Ministry over the schedule and mechanism for the implementation of this test.

"Following this, the government has agreed to make it compulsory for all foreign workers (in all sectors) to undergo the Covid-19 screening test, which will be done in stages," he said at a press conference here today.

He said Covid-19 positive cases have been on an upward trend among foreign workers, with Top Glove being the single biggest contributor to the country's positive cases, apart from cases identified at factories in other districts, including in Sabah.

On the mechanism for implementing the screening test, he said to prevent overcrowding, employers should arrange for appointments with private healthcare facilities for the Covid-19 RTK-Antigen test.

The private health facilities would then send their staff to the factory or construction site to conduct the test according to the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the Health Ministry, he said.

"The cost of clinic/hospital services must be paid for by the employer. Social Security Organisation (Socso) bears the cost of the test kit (RM60) for the first time test only."

Ismail Sabri further said that the Human Resources Ministry also started enforcing the Workers' Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446), where employers who flout the regulations would be fined RM50,000 per worker.

The ministry, he said, would check on companies and industries which fail to make the necessary preparations to address the living conditions of migrant workers.

Employers should ensure foreign workers are given basic housing facilities to ensure safety and hygiene, he said.

"The Human Resources Ministry has identified some companies which had failed to meet the minimum standard for space requirement for workers' accommodations.

"Yesterday, action was taken against several factories in a few states for not complying with the standards set under Act 446.

"The ministry will share further details on this matter in due time."



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