Mandatory Covid-19 screening for those returning to work, says Miti

The government says companies allowed to resume operations must submit a register of employees doing work during the period.

PETALING JAYA: Workers in sectors allowed to resume operations during the third phase of the movement control order (MCO) must undergo Covid-19 screening before reporting for duty.

The government announced last week that selected sectors would be opened in stages, in accordance with guidelines set by the health ministry,to ensure the sustainability of the nation’s economy and mitigation of job loss.

Implemented on March 18 to curb the spread of Covid-19, the MCO, which has seen the closure of all non-essential sectors, was initially supposed to end on March 31 but was later extended to April 14 and again to April 28

“As a safety measure, to ensure that all workers of companies allowed to operate are free of Covid-19, Miti will collaborate with the ministry of human resource through Sosco where all workers are required to undergo Covid-19 screening,” International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.

“Employers applying to operate must ensure that all their workers undergo screening at any of the 3,000 or more Socso panel health clinics nationwide according to health ministry guidelines.”

He said Socso, the government’s compulsory workplace insurance scheme, would bear the cost of the screening.

Companies that have been allowed to operate have to submit a register of workers involved in their operations during the MCO and ensure that their movement is confined to leaving their homes to the factories or business premises.

They are also required to provide thermal scanners as well as screening for symptoms for cough, sore throat or breathing difficulties, with the readings recorded and stored for at least three months for future reference.

Among the sectors allowed to resume operations in phases are the automotive and aerospace industries and the machinery and equipment sectors, construction projects and services related to construction works, as well as science, professional and technical services, including research and development (R&D).

Hardware, electrical and electronics shops, laundry services and social health services, including registered traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) practitioners, have also been given the green light to resume operations in stages.

Additional conditions for operating in the construction industry include reducing the number of workers to the bare minimum, fully cooperating with the health ministry’s contact tracing of infected Covid-19 workers, and providing safe transportation for workers.

Enforcement units have been established to monitor and enforce compliance, and Azmin warned that failure to comply with the standard operating procedures will result in immediate revocation of their approval to operate as well as legal action according to existing laws.

Miti has revoked the approval of four companies that have violated the conditions so far, and investigations are also being conducted into 35 companies reported to have violated the conditions.

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