Companies urged to absorb jab process costs

Getting ready: Bukit Jawi Golf Resort workers setting up the vaccination centre at Jawi in Penang. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Companies involved in the Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (Pikas) have been reminded to absorb the facilitation cost and not pass it down to their workers.

Free Industrial Zone Penang Companies’ Association president Dr David Lacey said members have been told to adhere to the agreement and ensure all costs were borne by them.

“The cost of facilitating the vaccination is very small compared to the shutdown or downtime, which occurs if workers contract Covid-19.

“In fact, the RM90 cost for each worker is very low and all the factories have agreed to absorb the cost, ” he said when asked to comment on the Pikas programme, which begins at the vaccination centre at Bukit Jawi Golf Resort today.

The vaccination for the first five days will be for about 2, 200 workers of Micron Memory Malaysia Sdn Bhd, followed by 16, 500 workers from 20 companies from the industrial zone.

Batu Kawan vaccination project lead V. Thiagarajan said Micron was coordinating the pilot programme, which would be completed by July.

“We don’t have complete details if workers from all the industrial zones in Penang will be involved but those who will be vaccinated are registered under MySejahtera.”On the number of people vaccinated being small compared to the 300, 000 workers in the industrial zones, Thiagarajan said the understanding was the programme would continue after July, especially for companies in Batu Kawan industrial estate.

Separately, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chapter chairman Datuk Jimmy Ong said 100% of the Covid-19 cases detected in the mass screening of factory workers were asymptomatic.

“Under the Penang SAFE programme, the PCR test shows out of 2, 500 workers screened, the nine Covid-19 cases detected were all asymptomatic.

“It is an arduous task to identify workers who have symptoms.”

Ong said companies were following stringent standard operating procedure as none of them would want their workers to be infected.

“The only way to move forward is to get them vaccinated, ” he said.

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