M’sians working in Singapore step up safety measures


Being extra careful: Travellers wearing face mask as an added precaution against the virus as they leave the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immig­ration and Quarantine complex in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: Malaysians working across the causeway are taking precautions to guard themselves against the novel coronavirus as Singapore moved its disease outbreak response up a level to code orange.

Assistant chemist J. Eddie, 25, said that besides following company guidelines on the coronavirus outbreak, he has taken extra steps to protect himself.

“We report our temperature daily and the readings will be recorded for a month so that our company can monitor if any symptoms arise.

“I work at a testing lab and there is no way for us to work from home but there are ample face masks and hand sanitisers for us to use.”

He said that he is also avoiding public transportation when in Singapore.

“I have cancelled my trip overseas and will only continue my travel plans when the outbreak has cleared.

“I try to avoid contact with people, especially when going through the checkpoints on my way to work and when going back home, ” he said, adding that he goes to work from his house in Johor Baru by motorcycle every day.

Accountant Khoo Yin Ting, 30, said that those visiting her office are now required to have their temperature taken.

“My colleagues and I have been told to have our temperature taken before entering the office since

Feb 3, ” she said.

“Visitors are also required to have their temperature taken now, ” she said, adding that although the company does not make it compulsory for its employees to put on a face mask, she and her colleagues have chosen to put it on.

Khoo, who works for a travel agency in Singapore, said that her colleagues who man the front counter also try to avoid contact with customers as much as possible.

Research assistant coordinator Adeline Lam, 28, said that her company provides a designated temporary quarantine room for employees who are found to be sick upon arriving at the office.

“We are also required to take our temperature daily and will not be allowed to go to the office if we are ill.

“At the moment, none of us has been told that we could work from home but I do not know if this will change in the next few weeks.”

Singapore recently moved its disease outbreak response up a level after four new cases with no known links to China or people being already infected were reported.

Under its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, the orange code means that the outbreak is viewed to have moderate to high public health impact.

Among measures that have been implemented were to urge employers to take regular temperature of their staff and stepping up business continuity plans, including asking employees to telecommunicate and segregate them into teams.

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