Penang starts mass screening of foreign workers

Mouth swabs being taken from a foreign worker by health personnel in protective wear.

PENANG has begun mass Covid-19 screening of foreign workers, with a target of screening all the 51,208 registered ones within a month.

State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the government was serious in getting all the 14,436 workers from the construction industry and 36,772 workers from the manufacturing industry screened.

“We can’t be complacent with our green zone status and with the opening of the manufacturing and construction industry, we are enforcing the conditional movement control order (CMCO), in which all foreign workers must be screened.

“We must ensure all the workers are screened before they are allowed to work again as public safety is of the utmost priority,” said Jagdeep told reporters at the site of the mass screening at Padang Polo yesterday.

Foreign workers queue for their turn to be screened for the Covid-19 virus at Padang Polo in Penang.Foreign workers queue for their turn to be screened for the Covid-19 virus at Padang Polo in Penang.

He said the mass screening of the workers would be done at Padang Polo because hospitals and clinics could not do it fast enough as there were too many of them to be screened.

“That would delay the reopening of the construction and manufacturing industry, delaying the economic recovery of the state,” he said.

The state, he said, was assisted in the screening process by doctors and nurses from government hospitals, with facilities provided by a private lab.

Jagdeep said the entire screening process would strictly follow the standard operating procedures of the conditional MCO.

“The cost of screening the construction workers is borne by the members of the Penang Real Estate and Housing Developers Association and Master Builders Association while individual employers bear the cost for foreign workers from the manufacturing industry,” he said.

Jagdeep said all companies must comply and ensure the screenings were carried out as stern action would be taken by the police if companies could not produce certification during checks.

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Penang , screening , foreign workers


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