Employers should screen foreign workers for Covid-19, says Health Ministry

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has advised employers to screen their workers for Covid-19, particularly if they are foreigners.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said foreign workers, especially those living in cramped quarters, were highly susceptible to the virus.

“We have seen that from May 4 until now, almost 78% of our positive Covid-19 cases involve foreign workers.

“We advise employers to screen their workers.

“We find that due to living in confined spaces, these foreign workers are not able to practise social distancing.

“If one person is positive, the whole household can be infected, ” he said at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference here on Friday (May 29).

Dr Noor Hisham had earlier revealed a new cluster involving Bangladeshi workers employed by a cleaning services company.

A total of 24 positive cases were detected in this cluster after a private clinic conducted screening on the workers.

“Praises must be given to this employer for taking the initiative to screen the workers, otherwise we would not have been able to detect these cases, ” he said.

Of the 24 positive cases, 20 of them live in a hostel at Kuala Langat, Selangor.

The other four cases live in an apartment in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has begun conducting screening and contact tracing at the workers’ living quarters.

“This is a lesson learnt for us, and this is why we need to address this issue of cramped living conditions as soon as possible.

“We are not looking into a sector anymore, but at workers’ accommodations, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

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