Penang exco tells Putrajaya to come up with contingency plan for Covid-19 testing of foreign workers

State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, Jagdeep Singh Deo, said there are several factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure it goes well. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, Jagdeep Singh Deo, said there are several factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure it goes well. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 30 — The Penang government wants the Federal government to prepare a contingency plan for the smooth implementation of the Covid-19 targeted testing of foreign workers in red zones, which begins tomorrow.

State Housing, Local Government and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman, Jagdeep Singh Deo, said there are several factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure it goes well.

“The question is, have we got the capacity for the screening and have the high-risk sectors been identified? I would ask the government to first pinpoint these sectors and give them focus,” he told reporters today when inspecting restoration progress at the 120-year-old Wadda Gurdwara Sahib (Sikh temple).

He also asked if a screening subsidy could be given to employers who cannot afford to pay for the test and would want it to be done properly for accurate results.

Human Resources Minister, Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, said in a report last week that screening would be conducted in stages for foreign workers in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Sabah and Labuan.

“Employers only need to pay the service charge imposed by clinics or hospitals. For foreign workers who are not Social Security Organisation (Socso) contributors, the screening fee must be fully paid by their employers,” he said in a statement.

Jagdeep said that “so far, 23,159 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in the state and of this total, over 15,000 were foreign workers”.

He added that as at today, Penang has recorded 13 active clusters with 1,884 cases.

On the RM6 million restoration of the Wadda Gurdwara Sahib, Jagdeep said it should be complete by the end of 2021.

He said the temple was the first entry point of Sikhs coming to Malaya long ago.

“The project has entered phase 3.3 which is to peel the cement from the exterior of the building to reveal the original stone masonry,” he said. — Bernama

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