Manufacturers of ‘critical’ items allowed to operate

The National Security Council says the manufacturers exempted from the movement control order must observe strict health and safety requirements. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The National Security Council said today it will allow manufacturers in certain industries, including the food, medical and pharmaceutical sectors, to continue to operate while the movement control order (MCO) is in effect.

Petrochemicals, chemicals and electric and electronic factories which are part of the supply chain will also be allowed to operate.

The manufacturers who are not affected by the MCO include those producing food items, sanitisers, cleaning products, face masks, medicines and semiconductors. Food importers are also allowed to work as usual.

However, this is subject to strict health and safety requirements aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to Covid-19.

In a statement, the council said the government understood the challenges faced by industries and their importance in ensuring supplies were not disrupted.

“The industries given consideration must be responsible in carrying out Covid-19 screening and prevention measures in the interest of the safety of their employees and customers,” it said.

The conditions imposed include a minimal workforce or 50% of the workforce for manufacturing while the MCO is in effect, work-from-home arrangements for critical non-operational staff, meeting local production demands as well as providing the international trade and industry ministry with a list of employees working during the MCO.

The other requirements include screening workers every day and keeping records, informing the authorities if any employee has a higher than normal body temperature and implementing other measures recommended by the health ministry, including social distancing, providing hand sanitisers and disinfecting factory premises.

If any employee is found to be infected with Covid-19, the employers are responsible for the cost of treatment and disinfection.

“The government wants to reiterate that these approvals can be cancelled and revoked if the conditions set are not met by the companies and industries.

“The government has the right to change the conditions set from time to time,” the council said.