Do more than just test workers at workplace, says MMA

The Malaysian Medical Association says the government might need to declare an amnesty for undocumented migrants.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has warned of a false sense of security from workers testing negative for Covid-19, urging precautionary measures to be practised in the workplace.

MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran also urged employers to improve the poor living conditions of foreign workers, emphasising that just testing their employees would be insufficient to prevent an outbreak of the virus.

He said there could also be a need for specific procedures at workers’ quarters, as well as random checks by the authorities.

“The majority of foreign workers in the country stay in overcrowded, cramped dormitories, construction site cabins, or hostels in shoplot rooms, terrace houses or apartments, where physical distancing may be almost impossible to observe.

“There will be no point in testing if they are to return to their cramped living conditions,” he said in a statement today.

Ganabaskaran said it was necessary for migrant workers to be screened following the increase in cases involving the community.

He said Putrajaya might also have to offer undocumented migrants amnesty in order to allay their fears from coming forward to be tested.

He said it might become increasingly difficult for the authorities to trace foreign workers; some employers may even hide them for fear of facing disciplinary action.

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