PETALING JAYA: A total of 18,354 healthcare workers are down with Covid-19, according to health minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
“Based on our reported data, on March 23 (yesterday), a total of 19,420 healthcare workers were absent from work. Of the number, 18,354 (94.5%) are confirmed cases and 1,066 (5.5%) are close contacts,” he said in a press conference this evening.
Khairy added that since March 4, the daily rate of absenteeism involving healthcare workers had exceeded 6%.
He revealed the figures when answering a question on a circular purportedly issued by the health ministry to healthcare workers stating that those confirmed with Covid-19 may be required to return to work before the end of their quarantine period.
“Because of that, many hospital directors requested the deputy director-general to review the existing management policy of Covid-19 confirmed cases,” Khairy said in confirming a news report on the circular.
The proposed measure on recalling healthcare workers was presented to and approved by the Covid-19 pandemic management committee on March 15, he added.
Khairy gave an assurance that the decision would not compromise safety of other hospital patients, saying that healthcare workers were required to undergo tests before returning to work.
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