Help prevent fourth wave, industry captains urged

GEORGE TOWN: Industry captains should continue screening their foreign workers to prevent a possible fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Jimmy Ong.

The Federation of Malaysia Manufacturers Penang branch chairman said it was vital for more regular testing of factory workers as they could still be infected after the initial mandatory screening.

“Since the government’s request for compulsory testing of foreign workers has ended on March 31, there is a lack of efforts by companies to continue testing their workers.

“There should still be a continuity for such tests to be carried out on those regarded as high-risk group.

“This will enable the company to pick up the infected worker early before things get out of hand and become a cluster, ” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Ong also urged the Federal Government to speed up the vaccination process, besides the regular screening of high-risk workers.

“The government should expedite the vaccination process of industry workers as they are the economic frontliners.

“The economy will definitely be impacted if we are going into the fourth wave of the pandemic, ” he said.

Ong also proposed the setting up of a mobile vaccination to speed up the process in industry areas.

“I believe everyone is concerned and trying their best to follow the SOP but the cases are still unstable. It seems to be on an increasing trend recently.

“We must speed up the vaccination process so that life can be returned to normal again, ” he said.

Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies’ Association committee member Datuk Heng Tuck Lee said manufacturers had been working intensely to ensure their workers register for vaccination so they would be ready when vaccines become available.

“Many factories have been aggressively encouraging and getting as many workers to register for vaccination.

“All manufacturers will continue to enforce strict SOP and advise their staff members to also practise them outside of work.

“We strongly believe that vaccination is key to a return to normalcy and ensuring employment, revenue and exports for the sake of the economy.

“Most manufacturing companies hope that the country will win this fight together and that the fourth wave won’t hit the country, ” he said in a phone interview yesterday.

As of April 11, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the rate of infection or Rt was at 1.06, with the highest being recorded in Terengganu at 1.56.

He said the daily numbers were still above 1,000, and that the country was not out of danger yet.

He said global numbers were also fluctuating with more than 136 million cases recorded and 2.9 million deaths, adding that most infections came from communities and clusters.

Meanwhile, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin urged the public to pay heed to the existing SOP and precautionary measures as the battle against Covid-19 was still ongoing.

“Everyone needs to know the importance of their role in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“This is also part of the spirit of ‘Responsible Tourism’ campaign to better protect our loved ones and community, especially with the festive season around the corner.

“I want encourage everyone to register for vaccination. We are all in this together and everyone is a frontliner in fighting against the pandemic.

“The sooner the situation improves, the faster the rebuilding and recovery process will be for our economy and the people, ” he said.

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