Action against employers asking COVID-positive workers to come to work – Exco

JASIN, Feb 14 — All employers in Melaka have been warned against asking employees who are confirmed positive, or are close contacts of COVID-19 cases, to come to work, or they will face stern action.

State Health and Anti-Drug Committee chairman, Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh, said several complaints were being followed up, that there were employers of premises such as restaurants, supermarkets, and the manufacturing sector who asked workers to continue working as usual.

“Any employee facing this situation is urged to report the matter, as we are actively curbing the spread of clusters in the workplace, which is seen to be increasing.

“Employers need to know what the definition of ‘close contact’ is, so that transmission in the workplace can be controlled earlier, so that it does not spread to the community,” he told reporters after conducting a spot check at a factory in Merlimau here today.

Dr Muhamad Akmal said that the prevalence of clusters in the workplace in the state had recorded an increase recently, and based on the data received, the number of close contacts in the workplace has risen from 4.8 per cent to almost 10 per cent over the past three days.

During the check, the state health department had also ordered an immediate seven-day closure, starting today, after a sharp increase in cases at the factory, besides finding that the infection has spread to other parts of the premises.

He said since Feb 5, a total of 21 workers at the factory were found positive through Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

“The factory is ordered to be closed in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set, and if they can provide safety measures and infection prevention, then the decision to reopen will be allowed, based on the assessment from the Jasin district health office.

“The state health department does not arbitrarily issue an order to close the factory; it is based on the assessment at the workplace, but if it has spread to other parts and cannot be controlled, the order to close the factory has to be issued,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency