Foreign workers getting used to the new normal


GEORGE TOWN: Despite initially struggling to comply with strict standard operating procedure (SOP) against Covid-19, foreign workers here are now slowly getting used to the new normal.

Bangladeshi Tajul Islam Abdul Malik, 44, said that when the SOP was imposed by the government at all construction sites, he and his colleagues found it troublesome.

“After being told that the SOP is vital to contain the spread of Covid-19, we managed to learn and follow it. It’s for our own good, ” he said yesterday.

His colleague Rofiqul Islam, 31, also expressed a similar sentiment, saying that the SOP could actually save lives at the construction site.

“We don’t know how the virus could infect us, so the best way is to follow the SOP, ” he said.

Both Tajul and Rofiqul were among 40 foreign nationals working at a construction site near Penang Road.

Senior site supervisor Soon Song Keat said the company took the safety and health of all its workers seriously.

“We reminded them to follow strict SOP at all times. All our foreign workers also tested negative, ” he said.

Soon said the company also ensured that each worker at the construction site had enough food during the three-month closure.

“We would like to thank the public and NGOs for donating food supplies to the workers during the movement control order, ” he said.

Meanwhile, the compliance rate among contractors at construction sites has been good.

“Contractors here have been following the SOP, ” said state Local Government Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo.

As of May 21, nearly 7,000 foreign construction workers had been screened and tested negative.

There are 14,436 foreign construction workers and 36,772 foreign manufacturing workers registered in the state.

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