Friday, July 30

MTUC S’wak: Socso should stop Covid-19 screening for workers


Andrew Lo

KUCHING: The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak Division opines that the Social Security Organisation (Socso) should stop the Covid-19 screening for workers.

According to MTUC Sarawak Division secretary Andrew Lo, there is no requirement of screening for workers to return to work under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

“The screening serves no real purpose from a public health standpoint. Feedback is that it has hindered industries restarting and delay workers returning to work.

“Selective testing of certain industries (and certain locality) is not the mandate of Socso. We shouldn’t be expending our resources on a selected group,” he said in a statement today.

Lo pointed out the fact that foreign workers were only recently covered under Socso, due to what he claimed as the construction industry’s “notorious foreign workers and dubious employment practices (sub-contracting and labour suppliers)”.

He said MTUC Sarawak Division believed that not that many foreign workers in the construction industry were registered.

He concurred with the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) recent statement that widespread testing of employees before returning to work was redundant as they would still be exposed to possible Covid-19 infection from their community.

“As the nation enters CMCO some medical experts from the Malaysian Medical Association and Universiti Malaya have questioned workers’ Covid-19 mass screenings, pointed out that people can still get infected after clearing a single test,” said Lo.

He also quoted director-general of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as saying: “If we screen employees, then they go to work, they would still be exposed to the community the next week. So, the question is how many times do we have to test? They are exposed to the community every day and the coronavirus is in the community.”

Recently, certain quarters have claimed that they were unclear whether workers, both local and foreign, from the construction industry were still required to undergo the Covid-19 screening test in order to be allowed for resumption of work.