KUCHING: It is going to be a difficult task for employees allowed to work during the movement control order (MCO) period to be screened for Covid-19 as there are not many test kits in Sosco panel clinics in the state.
Sarawak Housing Estate Developers Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Sim Kiang Chiok said this in response to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who said that all employees of companies allowed to operate during the MCO must undergo screening at any of the over 3,000 Sosco panel clinics nationwide.
“We are also informed by our State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) that we need the test kits for patients and their traced contacts, and there is a short supply of test kits as the rest of the world also requires such test,” Sim said in a statement yesterday.
He said even if Miti and the Ministry of Health (MoH) approved the companies in the state to work during the MCO, it was announced on April 16 that all approval from Miti would have to be considered and approved by SDMC before any work could proceed.
“We in Sarawak are fighting this pandemic based on our own requirements because of our different nature from Malaya,” he stressed.
Sim also said that the standard operating procedure (SOP) for construction work to proceed during the MCO had been drawn up by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and was very strict about social distancing, health and hygiene guidelines apart from what was announced by Azmin.
“Azmin said the Works Ministry and CIDB had also come up with several conditions that must be adhered to by the construction industry. All construction companies, he said, must reduce the number of workers to the bare minimum or not exceeding 50 percent of what is currently needed.
“The reduction of workforce to minimum or 50 percent, the social distancing, health and hygiene requirements will have higher cost implications due to slower progress and higher overheads,” he pointed out.