KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The government has ordered employers to bear the cost of administering Covid-19 vaccines, as well as screenings, for their foreign labourers.
Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan also cited Section 11 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 that mandates all foreign workers in the country to undergo Covid-19 screening, with their employers bearing the incurred expenses.
“Employers are required to pay for all immunisation costs, including Covid-19 screening tests,” Saravanan said in a statement today.
“This is in accordance with section 24J (f) of the Workers’ Minimum Standards Of Housing And Amenities Act 1990 [Act 446].”
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin highlighted yesterday the possibility of vaccinating foreign workers against Covid-19 for free, as he expressed his concern over their refusal to get immunised if it’s not free.
Foreign workers, who are also considered as a vulnerable group to Covid-19, should be prioritised in the country’s coronavirus vaccination exercise, Khairy mentioned earlier.
The Covid-19 outbreak in Selangor involves many migrant workers, including the largest cluster reported in Malaysia, the Teratai cluster, which originated from Top Glove Corp’s migrant workers’ dormitories in Meru, Klang
As of January 5, the Teratai cluster has recorded 6,289 Covid-19 cases out of 9,353 people who have been screened. This shows that for every 100 people who undergo Covid-19 screening, more than 67 people are being infected with the coronavirus in this cluster.
According to Saravanan, a special operation will be carried out to promote awareness among employers with foreign employees to curb and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Starting from January 11, the task force team from the Covid-19 Health Screening Programme, which consists of the Department of Manpower Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), will conduct this special operation by visiting workplaces.