KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of crowded and confined accommodation of foreign workers needs to be tackled immediately to ensure that it does cause the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has said.
He said this was in line with the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).
“Seeing how the issue of Covid-19 infection among foreign workers has become an important matter that needs to be addressed, the Ministry of Health (MoH) urges employers to play a bigger role in jointly tackling it.
“As such, the MoH welcomes the enforcement action under Act 446 by the Human Resources Ministry on employers who fail to comply with the provisions of the Act,” he said in a post on his official Facebook page yesterday.
He said there were several factors that contributed to the transmission of infectious diseases among workers, including accommodation, personal hygiene as well as the environment of the accommodation and workplaces.
He said the MoH had always taken a serious view of incidents regarding the rise in Covid-19 transmissions in workplaces as manpower, be it foreign or local, had always been a valuable asset for any company or organisation.
Earlier in the afternoon, Dr Noor Hisham spent some time to observe field activities for the Awan Baru Construction Site Cluster.
The cluster, involving the districts of Kepong and Cheras in Kuala Lumpur, was declared yesterday after Covid-19 cases were detected following the targeted screening of workers at a construction site in Bandar Baru Sentul.
He said as at 8pm on Nov 28, a total of 482 individuals had been screened, with 410 (85.1 per cent) of them testing positive.
“The Kepong Health Office carried out a risk assessment and close contact detection at the construction site and areas around the workplace on Nov 27.
“The construction site was closed under Section 18 (1) (f) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) on Nov 27 for the purpose of cleaning and disinfection,” said Dr Noor Hisham. — Bernama