Muar furniture makers form Covid-19 prevention panel

THE detection of Covid-19 cases at several furniture factories has prompted the Muar Furniture Association (MFA) to set up a prevention committee to deal with the situation.

MFA chairman Steve Ong You Huan said it had met with furniture manufacturers in the Parit Jamil area last week, where they agreed to the setting up of the

committee, headed by the association’s internal auditor Chua Boon Long.

“There are about 30 furniture manufacturers and factories in this area alone, with some 3,000 workers.

“We hope that other industrial areas can set up a similar committee of their own so that fast and targeted actions can be taken if Covid-19 cases are detected in their respective areas, ” Ong said at a press conference.

The step was taken following a surge in positive Covid-19 cases at the Kejora Juara workers’ hostel in Bukit Pasir, Muar.

The locality has been placed under enhanced movement control order from Jan 2 to 15.

Ong said MFA was also in talks with relevant parties to obtain polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

“As operators, we cannot only rely on the government in combatting Covid-19, so we are taking the initiative to obtain affordable PCR packages.

“So far, more than 3,000 workers have agreed to take the test, ” he added.

Meanwhile, Chua said the setting up of the committee was more of a preventive measure and part of the operators’ social responsibility.

The factories in the area will no longer allow employees to leave the premises from the time they clock in, until after working hours.

“Previously, factories usually allow their employees to go out during break time to buy food or meet with their friends from neighbouring factories.

“With the recent spike in cases, we suggest that factories prepare facilities like microwave ovens so their employees, especially foreign workers who usually bring homecooked food, can heat up their food, ” he said.

Chua added that factory operators should also arrange food delivery services for overtime shifts and take steps to monitor the comings and goings of employees and visitors at hostels for more efficient contact tracing.

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