FOREIGN workers in Bintulu, Sarawak, who want to take the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test must have letters from their employers to do so.
Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the directive from the state-run Bintulu District Disaster Management Committee (BDDMC) was to protect the health and safety of people in the area.
The current influx of foreign workers in the district has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases.
“Law enforcement agencies must take strict action to apprehend irresponsible middlemen, agents and employers who exploit loopholes.
“These steps are urgently needed because over the past few weeks, the data of confirmed cases among foreign workers has been consistent, making the pandemic prevention efforts in Bintulu more difficult,” he said.
Tiong revealed that there were employers who continued to import foreign labour illegally.
“If their infected workers go missing, these irresponsible employers would leave it to the government to fix the problem.
“Such employers have ignored the importance of preventing the spread of Covid-19 while working with foreign and local middlemen to smuggle in the foreign workers using jalan tikus (illegal routes),” he said.
Tiong said that some infected foreign workers refused to cooperate with the district Health Department in revealing all the places they had been to.
“This makes it difficult for the authorities to find their close contacts to carry out the necessary quarantining and testing.
“It will inevitably cause the further spread of the virus.”
He also said that by doing so, they were being unfair to others who strictly adhered to the standard operating procedure.