HR minister: Foreign workers can get free Covid-19 tests too, if registered with Socso

A health worker looks at a sample collected from a motorist at a drive-through testing site for Covid-19 at MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam April 10, 2020. —  Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A health worker looks at a sample collected from a motorist at a drive-through testing site for Covid-19 at MSU Medical Centre in Shah Alam April 10, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Foreign workers can undergo free tests for Covid-19 screening just like other employees, if they are registered with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and are in industries already allowed to resume work, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said today.

Saravanan explained that Sosco offers such free tests via Program Saringan Prihatin (PSP) or the Prihatin Screening Programme, which is a programme that had started Covid-19 screenings since April 27.

“Socso’s Program Saringan Prihatin (PSP) is a free Covid-19 screening programme for workers including foreign workers that are registered with Socso under the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4) for companies that are allowed to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, subject to the guidelines prepared by Socso that started on April 27, 2020,” he said in a statement released earlier today.

There are two types of screening tests involved, namely the RT-PCR (Covid-19 Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) conducted via nose and mouth sample tests by appointed service providers, and the RTK Antibody (Rapid Test Kit) carried out using blood samples by Socso PSP panel clinics, he said.

As for how applications for the free screenings can be done, Saravanan said it could be applied for as an individual or as a group.

For group screenings, both the employer and the service provider would have to agree on the date and location of the screening as well as the number of workers to be screened, with the employer also required to provide a list of all the workers’ names to the service provider at least 24 hours before the screening date, Saravanan said.

Employees who opt to personally go to the appointed clinic or lab of the service providers, they will have to register at Socso’s PSP portal using the employer’s code number, identity card number or the Foreign Worker Social Security Number (KSPA). Those with queries on this may email [email protected] or contact 03- 4264 5555/03-8091 5100/1-300-22-8000.

Saravanan said the Covid-19 test results are confidential and will only be known by the employees themselves, the service provider and Socso, noting that the test results will only be available through the private profiles of registered employees in the PSP portal regardless of whether the tests were done individually or as a group.

“If the results are positive, the service provider will send a notification to the Health Ministry of Malaysia for further action,” he said.

As of May 5, more than 298,000 employees have registered for the Socso PSP scheme which allows for free Covid-19 tests, with at least 44,500 workers already having undergone Covid-19 screening through this programme, he said.

As of May 4, a total of 5,120 workers have tested negative for Covid-19, he said.

This screening programme involves the use of 120 mobile units, and is carried out by Socso-appointed service providers in 39 locations nationwide, Saravanan said.

Just two days ago or on May 4, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced the government’s decision to require all foreign workers in the country to undergo Covid-19 testing with their employers to bear the screening cost.

The Home Ministry had last year said that the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s records show that the number of foreign workers who were given valid and active work passes was at 1,994,566 or over 1.99 million for the period from January 1 to October 31, 2019.

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