Saturday, April 17

Manufacturers federation calls on government to bear cost of Covid-19 screening for workers

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KUCHING: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) welcomes the government’s decision of extending the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), in which it is prioritising public health and at the same time, allowing business activities to resume operations.

However, its president Tan Sri Dato Soh Thian Lai called upon all employers to have their employees screened for Covid-19, particularly the foreign workers, as a way to reduce the risk of infection.

“As Covid-19 is a significant health risk of public concern, the government should bear
the cost of screening and must also ensure that there are sufficient rapid test kits made available for all the approved clinics to carry out the screening of workers,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Soh added that the number of laboratories and hospitals recognised by the Ministry of Health needed to be expanded and included in the Social Security Organisation (Socso)’s Prihatin Screening Programme to allow a larger volume of workers to be screened as immediately as possible.

Back on the extension of the CMCO, he said all parties should work hand-in-hand to ensure that Malaysia could flatten the Covid-19 curve successfully, while supporting the economic wellbeing of Malaysians.

He said under the CMCO, the operations of economic sectors and businesses would continue to be governed by the respective standard operating procedures (SOPs) and Covid-19 precautionary measures, set by the government.

“The business community, in particular, must continue to ensure strict adherence to these requirements to ensure that their operations would be conducted in a safe and controlled manner.”

Soh also called upon the manufacturers to implement their respective ‘Business Continuity Planning’, which would include exploring and expanding flexible work arrangements, as well as maintaining social distancing and other policies that would allow people to work remotely and safely.

Such planning, he said, should help make the implementation of the SOPs become more effective.