KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — The Social Security Organisation’s (Socso) Covid-19 screening programme has registered more than 298,000 workers and tested at least 44,500 for Covid-19 as of yesterday, a minister said.
Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan confirmed that Socso’s Program Saringan Prihatin (PSP) coronavirus screening programme comprised two phases: the first phase involves using the gold-standard PCR tests run by an appointed service provider that requires samples taken from the mouth or throat, while the second phase uses antibody rapid test kits at PSP panel clinics that take a drop of blood through a pin-prick procedure.
“As of May 4, screening results have confirmed 5,120 workers to be Covid-19 negative,” Saravanan said in a statement today, without elaborating if any had tested positive.
“This screening programme was conducted by a service provider appointed by Socso at 39 locations nationwide. It involves 120 mobile units.”
He explained that applications for Covid-19 testing under Socso’s PSP can be done on a group or individual basis. If group screenings are applied for, the employer and service provider must decide on the number of workers and set a date and location for testing.
If individual workers choose to visit a clinic or an authorised service provider’s laboratory, they must register at the PSP website and give their employer’s code number, as well as their own identity card number or Foreign Worker Social Security number. Queries can be emailed to [email protected] or by calling 03- 4264 5555 / 03- 8091 5100 / 1-300-22-8000.
Test results are confidential and will only be known by the worker, service provider, and Socso. If results are positive, the service provider will notify the Ministry of Health (MOH) for further action.
CodeBlue reported earlier today complaints from doctors groups about how private GP clinics have yet to get rapid antibody tests from Socso, even after people returned to work when lockdown measures were relaxed last Monday.
Workers must test negative on the antibody tests taken twice within a week before they are allowed to go to work, as these serology tests detect antibodies produced in response to the coronavirus. According to veteran physician Dr Milton Lum, however, a worker testing negative for serology tests on both Day 1 and Day 7 may still have Covid-19 because the person’s antibody levels may not be sufficient enough to test positive on the seventh day.