‘WFH an order, not a suggestion’

PUTRAJAYA: The government’s work from home directive, which will affect a million workers in the public and private sectors, is aimed at containing Covid-19 infections in areas placed under the conditional movement control order (mco), says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Senior Minister said those who are to work from home beginning Oct 22 until the conditional mco is lifted in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan are mainly those employed in the management and supervisory posts.

He said this decision will involve 800,000 workers in various industries as well as close to 200,000 civil servants.

“This is a directive of the government, not a proposal or a suggestion for sectors to consider. We need to limit the movement of people to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the community,” he said.

The minister said this decision by the National Security Council is justified, pointing out that to date, nine clusters from workplaces were reported by the Health Ministry in Selangor alone.

He said workers who have to work from offices or fields and are from areas declared as red zones will have to undergo swab tests and contributors of Socso will have this cost borne by the body.

“The full list of categories of those who have to work from home and those who can work from offices or fields as well as standard operating procedures will be issued by the International Trade and Industry Ministry soon,” said Ismail Sabri.

The public service department will issue a list of those affected by the decision in the civil service.

Those involved in finance, enforcement and welfare are among those who will be exempted from the work from home order.

Ismail Sabri said a makeshift treatment centre (MTC) will be set up at the Kepayan Prison in Kota Kinabalu to support the prison’s medical facilities.

This was required as the number of Covid-19 cases in the prison has increased and the MTC also serves as a quarantine centre for inmates who are found positive, he added.

The field hospital set up by the Armed Forces in Tawau has already started receiving non-Covid-19 related patients yesterday.

“The ATM field hospital will focus on non-Covid-19 patients while the Health Ministry’s hospital will be focusing on the treatment of Covid-19 patients,” he added.

The minister also debunked talk that Melaka will be placed under conditional MCO, adding that an announcement on such a decision will be made by him or the Health director-general.

“We are the two government spokesmen on Covid-19 related issues. If the source is not from me or the Health director-general, then it is fake news,” he said.

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