The outbreak last week, which follows its first incident in October 2020, came after a scare in the first week of January this year, when a staff was tested positive following a family gathering during Christmas.
Its group chief executive and managing director Datuk Michael Tio said that PKT Logistics Group is well positioned and more prepared to deal with the pandemic this time around, due to the safety measures it has put in place late last year.
Ensuring business continuity is key, he stressed, as each day operations are shut down brings losses to the business. This is not forgetting the health and safety of staff who continue to work during the movement control order (MCO) period.
Pointing to the proactive safeguards implemented by PKT Logistics Group, which go beyond the government’s Covid-19 standard operating procedures, Tio said that companies and their employees must strictly abide by physical distancing measures to prevent large scale infection.
“The virus spread is coming from family and friends of staff, so we need to segregate operationally to stop the spread. Every employee must follow strict protocol and play their part to breaking the chain of Covid-19 infections,” he stressed.
Risk mitigation measures
Amongst the group’s implemented measures to reduce infection risk and the spread of infection are strategically zoning office spaces to limit staff movement to certain areas, especially as it owns and operates multiple buildings, including offices and warehouses in the Klang Valley and Penang.
He said, “As we have offices in Selangor and Penang, we try to minimise the staff movement between both states, although it is not completely avoidable. Again, zoning laws are in place, those operating from one warehouse are not allowed to move freely
to another office without prior permission from the management.”
It has also implemented a schedule for staff to work from home (WFH), alternating work schedules and staggering break times to reduce the risk of contact between its employees.
Based on its experience, PKT Logistics Group has also made it mandatory for staff members to consume their meals at their own workstations, as gathering and eating together at the pantry poses a major risk and leads to virus spread in the event one employee is positive.
“From our contact tracing, we realised that a main contributor is sharing meals or having meals with colleagues, so for the time being, we have made it mandatory for staff to have their meals at their desk.
“We also implement staggered break times to ensure staff do not congregate together during lunch. Everyone needs to be one metre apart at least. No eating together, or eating facing each other,” he shared. Strategically placed dividers on tables may allow for two people to dine together but such practice is heavily discouraged at this point.
Moreover, all its physical meetings have been moved online to various online conferencing platforms, with meeting rooms and gathering areas in the office closed off to prevent usage.
Another area PKT Logistics Group has identified as a risk is manual paperwork, as these require physical touch, which is why it is moving towards utilising electronic documents for its work processes.
He noted, “High touch items such as documents need to be sanitised with a mist machine that contains steriliser solution.
“For paperwork that don’t require physical signatures, we need to move towards using pdf or online documents.”
Beyond the workplace
Tio further reminded businesses and their employees that these safety measures should also be practiced outside of work to prevent infection, highlighting the basics of always wearing a mask and frequently sanitising hands.
“Be careful when you are outside. When you are buying groceries or packing food for takeaway, you must maintain physical distancing.
“Of utmost importance is the 3W: wash hands, wear masks and warn each other to wear masks,” he reminded.
He also firmly encouraged people to stay at home and not visit other people’s homes, even if they are family members, as the virus is now spreading fast through communities. This reminder is especially sound owing to the upcoming festive season.
He opined, “Covid-19 will be part of our life this year. We need to be fast and efficient to address and manage the issues if a staff is tested positive or is exposed to a positive case.
“No one is to be blamed on who passed the virus to whom. All we can do is our best to prevent the spread and curb the spread outbreak efficiently.”
That said, he remains optimistic that the outlook for 2021 is still robust and attributes the positive forecast to the exponential rise in demand for the movement of goods and services.
This is largely due to countries worldwide implementing lockdowns to combat the pandemic, which has in turn led to the acceleration of e-commerce and technology adoption and acceptance among both businesses and consumers.
“Businesses have had to digitalise at a very fast pace due to Covid-19, so social media marketing becomes very important to reach a larger group of customers,” he said, referencing the way digital platforms commercialise their businesses to earn revenue.
Backed by inbuilt resilience from the circuit breakers implemented since 2008 to focus on recession-proof verticals, as well as its experience during the first MCO, PKT Logistics Group has reaffirmed its commitment to achieve its Wawasan ThreeBees by 2025.
The core of its Covid-19 Transformation Programme, Wawasan ThreeBees sets a target for the group to achieve RM3bil revenue in the next five years, with three supporting visions to serve as a roadmap to help the company achieve this grand vision.
The supporting visions are Wawasan V50 or Vaccine50 to diversify PKT’s revenue contribution ratio to 50:50 between recession-prone and recession-proof segments, Wawasan Asean20 to align PKT towards globalisation with 20% revenue contribution from regional Asean countries and Wawasan Digital20 to increase its digital revenue contribution to 20%.
He concluded, “Malaysians this year are much better prepared for MCO and WFH and how to go about this trying period.
“The movement of goods and services will continue to be in demand, as businesses are now focused and more resourceful to serve customers beyond physical interaction.”