Health DG seriously concerned over continued rise in Covid-19 workplace clusters

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Jan 2021:

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has expressed concern over the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 clusters involving workplaces.

From Jan 6 until yesterday, he noted a total of 350 new clusters were reported and 225 (64.3%) of them were linked to workplaces.

“Manufacturing-related clusters recorded the highest number of clusters with 80 clusters, followed by construction-related cluster with 53 clusters and service-related cluster with 31 clusters,” he said in a statement on the development of Covid-19 today.

Dr Noor Hisham said during the same period, 112,225 people had been screened – of which, 28,477 cases were confirmed Covid-19 positive from the clusters.

Therefore, he urged all employers and their employees to work hand in hand in assisting the ministry to contain the Covid-19 transmission at workplaces by always adhering to the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He said employers are responsible to provide conducive residential areas for their employees and ensure they always practise infection prevention measures including temperature and symptoms checks prior to entering their workplaces.

Dr Noor Hisham advised employees must also avoid gathering in confined places, and observe physical distancing at all time.

“Therefore, please adhere to all stipulated regulations and SOPs so that the risk of transmission among the people can be reduced.”

Worryingly, the Covid-19 infectivity rate (RT or R0 – pronounced R-naught) in Malaysia doesn’t seem to be flattening anytime soon, based on the latest forecast by the Health Ministry.

Barely 10 days into the full Movement Control Order (MCO 2.0) since Jan 13, the RT is still at 1.09 on average for the whole country, but rising to as high as 1.6 in Terengganu – which Dr Noor Hisham has previously described as being at a critical level.

Only Johor seems to show any signs of improvement with RT of 0.99 to 1.02.

– Bernama