Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, has urged employers to play a bigger role in handling the spread of COVID-19 at the office, citing that of the 162 active clusters in the country, 72 are related to workplace infections.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (17 November) Dr Noor Hisham noted that in particular, the recent spike in cases in the Klang Valley were due to an increase in workplace-related cases in these states, as well as the high population density.
In line with that, in a statement on the same day, the Ministry of Health (MOH) stressed: “Manpower is a valuable asset for a company or organisation. This includes employees (who are) both citizens and non-citizens. As the MOH often emphasises, there are several factors that contribute to the spread of infectious diseases among employees, such as accommodation issues, personal hygiene and also the environment at home and work.
“As the issue of COVID-19 transmission among non-citizen workers is an important issue that needs to be addressed, the MOH calls on employers to play a bigger role in addressing it together.”
According to the Ministry, some actions employers can undertake include:
- Providing education to employees on personal hygiene practices, the workplace and living environment, as well as preventive measures;
- Providing conducive accommodation to ensure safe physical distancing can be practised;
- Monitoring and ensuring infection prevention practices are taken by employees in their workplaces and accommodation.
Photo / Dr Noor Hisham’s Facebook page