Penang govt wants local authority staff classified as frontliners

Penang exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to the press during a press conference at Komtar, George Town December 24, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to the press during a press conference at Komtar, George Town December 24, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, March 2 — The Penang government has urged the federal government to recognise local government staff as frontliners under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

State Housing, Local Government, and Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said these workers have always been on the ground to check on premises to ensure the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are strictly followed since the first nationwide movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18 last year.

He said both the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) were also involved in conducting joint public health and security operations with the Royal Malaysia Police and Ministry of Health (MoH).

“In this regard, I will be raising this issue at the 77th Local Government National Assembly meeting this afternoon which will be chaired by Senior Minister (Works) Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, and hope to get an explanation of this matter,” he said in a press conference after conducting SOP checks at Chowrasta Market here today.

Jagdeep was commenting on the guidelines for the definition of frontliners in the National Covid-19 immunisation programme issued yesterday by the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV).

According to him, the guidelines classify frontliners under two categories, with Category One for those involved directly in providing medical treatment to patients and Category Two for individuals from healthcare, defence, security and essential services sectors.

He said representatives of the local government office were not under Category Two of the guidelines.

“We hope the JKJAV would also refine this issue and include local authorities throughout the country in the list of frontliners under Category Two of the guidelines,” he added. — Bernama

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