Kedah JKN confirms ordering COVID-19 positive workers to be sent to health office

The Kedah Health Department (JKN) confirms that it directed the employer of a chicken processing factory in Bedong, Sungai Petani to send its COVID-19 positive workers to the Kuala Muda District Health Office, yesterday.

Kedah Health director, Dr Mohd Fikri Ujang said the workers were taken to the district health office as all equipment, space and health personnel were already available there to evaluate the workers.

“Yesterday, 225 positive cases were recorded in Kuala Muda district. Of the total, 150 positive cases were from the cluster which involved the chicken factory. So, all positive cases must be screened and evaluated to determine the next treatment.

“We will determine whether they needed to be treated at the hospital or be taken to the Low Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) or be quarantined at hostels provided by the employers for their workers who are positive,” he told Bernama here, today.

He said this when asked to comment on a video which went viral on social media yesterday highlighting a group of foreign workers, believed to be COVID-19 positive and wearing pink bands, being taken in an open lorry in Sungai Petani.

The 19-second video resulted in social media users questioning the action of the district health office which did not evaluate all the foreign workers at the chicken factory.

Meanwhile, State Agriculture and Food Industry, Agriculture and Commodity Entrepreneurship, Transport and Indian Community Affairs Committee chairman Azman Nasrudin said the factory had obtained permission to operate from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Veterinary Services Department (JPV).

“The factory is allowed to operate because it is essential to the food production chain. However, the owner of the factory committed offences by not segregating the workers with symptoms and did not refer to the Ministry of Health for follow up actions,” he said in a statement today.

Nevertheless, he gave his assurance the output of chicken products would not be affected if the factory was closed as there were still many chicken processing companies operating in the state which complied the standard operating procedure (SOP).

Source: BERNAMA News Agency