FMM urges members to play their part to curb Covid-19 and prevent any possible lockdown

PETALING JAYA: Manufacturers must do their part to help break the chain of Covid-19 infections or face the possibility of a total lockdown, cautions the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

"FMM believes it is important for the current infections and clusters to be managed effectively so that the chain of infections be broken swiftly as the economy and the business sector would not be able to take another round of total lockdown similar to the movement control order in March 2020 that would have a devastating impact on business survival and security of jobs," FMM chief executive Yeoh Oon Tean said in a statement on Saturday (Jan 23).

He noted that Covid-19 infections are currently at a critical level with more than 3,000 cases reported daily, where 99 of the 318 active clusters are from the manufacturing sector.

Yeoh added that the infection rate must be brought down following a warning by the Health Ministry that the nation's healthcare system is at a breaking point due to the overwhelming number of active Covid-19 cases.

"We urge members to do our part by taking additional proactive measures to tighten the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) at our workplaces and the living quarters of our employees," he said.

Yeoh said the recommended additional measures include employers paying greater attention to the living conditions for all workers and sub-contractors while ensuring strict compliance with the SOPs and requirements for physical distancing in the living environment.

He added that members were also urged to comply with the Government's directive for all foreign workers to be screened for Covid-19 as soon as possible.

"The capacity of the vehicles or buses to ferry workers must be kept at 50% or below to ensure physical distancing is maintained in these vehicles while transporting workers," he said.

Yeoh added that manufacturing companies were also called on to appoint senior management members to ensure SOPs are strictly complied while at the workplace including during rest and meal times, at the workers’ accommodations and during transport.

"Isolate suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases at a dedicated point similar to self-quarantine, away from other workers and immediately notify the nearest state or district health department," he said.

Yeoh added that companies should also set up a “safe work bubble” for employees by monitoring and limiting their movements to the minimum and on-need basis only.

"Daily travel should be limited to the commute from home to the workplace and back," he said.

The nation recorded the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases at 4,275 on Saturday (Jan 23) including seven fatalities bringing the cumulative death toll to 667.

On Thursday (Jan 21), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the extension of the MCO to Feb 4 for the states and all federal territories which were placed locked down this month.

The affected states and and federal territories are Selangor, Melaka, Penang, Johor, Sabah, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

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