Workers Under Non-Essential Industries Returning to Work During MCO Must Be Screened

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Companies must submit a list of workers allowed to return to work under the non-essential industries during the movement-control order (MCO) period, said Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The international trade and industry minister said these workers are only allowed to go from their homes to their places or work.

As part of the arrangement to ensure their workers are not infected, Azmin said companies are required to provide thermal scanners and screen their employees for symptoms of Covid-19.

Yusof Mat Isa

The symptoms associated with the diseases are coughing, sore throat or breathing difficulties.

Azmin said the daily readings of the workers must be recorded and kept for a period of at least three months for reference.

“As a safety measure to ensure all workers of companies allowed to operate are free of Covid-19, the International Trade and Industry Ministry will collaborate with the Human Resources Ministry, through Socso (Social Security Organisation), where all workers are required to undergo screening,” said Azmin.

Employers applying to operate must ensure all their workers undergo screening at any of the more than 3,000 panel clinics nationwide, according to Health Ministry guidelines, he said.

Azmin said the decision to allow the operation of companies in phases, subject to strict conditions, is to ensure that there is adequate food supplies, adequate medicine and medical devices supplies; and that certain small and medium enterprises and critical sectors can operate to ease the people’s burden as well as mitigate the economic impact on the nation.

Meanwhile, Azmin acknowledged a projection by Bank Negara Malaysia, that the country’s economy may only grow between -2% to 0.5% in 2020. This projection only took into account the month-long MCO until April 14.

“As a result of the closure of non-essential services, the economy was estimated to operate at 45% of its operating capacity during the four-week MCO.

Beranama

“The decision to allow more businesses to gradually resume their operations during phase 3 of the MCO would increase the operating capacity of the economy and hence, mitigate the economic impact of the virus.

“I am confident that the people will remain strong and united in facing these trying times,” he added.

He also explained that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (Miti) online application system for operation permit crashed due to a high number of applications, 52% of which were individuals.

Azmin also pointed out that companies that have already obtained approval from Miti to operate during the first and second phases of the MCO need not reapply for permission for the third MCO phase.

“The problem that we faced on the first day applications were opened was not only due to those received by companies qualified to obtain operational permission, but also, the total number of individuals who tried to apply through the system was even bigger.

“About 52% of all the applications submitted through the system came from individuals,” he explained during a live press conference broadcast on national television networks today.

He said a total of 18,650 applications were submitted by companies and individuals on 14 April alone after the portal’s capacity was improved, compared to the 12,360 applications received cumulatively over six-days during the first and second phases of the MCO.