KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 ― Compulsory Covid-19 screening for all foreign workers in four states and two Federal Territories will begin on December 1, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
Ismail Sabri said the screening will cover foreign workers employed in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan, following his previous disclosure that the infection risk between them and local workers is higher based on the Ministry of Health's (MoH) risk assessment.
“The Human Resources Ministry had presented the schedules and mechanism for the screening in today’s special National Security Council (NSC) meeting.
“I was made to understand that the first screening will be limited to 100,000 to avoid congestions,” he told a press briefing.
Regarding the mechanism, Ismail Sabri added that employers must schedule an appointment with the respective private medical facilities in order for their foreign workers to undergo the rapid test kit (RTK) antigen testing in accordance with the standard operating procedure stipulated by the MoH.
He also said the cost of the swab test will be borne by both employers and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) for foreign workers who are Socso contributors, with employers eligible to claim up to RM60 for the first RTK-Antigen testing kit.
Separately, he also said the Human Resources Ministry has begun its enforcement on the compliance level of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446).
“I was made to understand that the ministry has conducted their checks and identified several companies flouting the regulation of which further action has been taken against them,” he said.
This comes after the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia said a glove maker in Ipoh had violated the law on the minimum standards of housing for foreign workers during a check in the Tasek area.
However the company name was not disclosed in news reports.
In response to the aforementioned violation, Top Glove Corporation Berhad gave its assurance that it will improve housing for its workers nationwide by next month.
The public-listed company with 41 factories nationwide and a workforce of 21,000 has been under intense global scrutiny over its employees’ living conditions that have also resulted in Malaysia’s largest Covid-19 cluster to date.