MoH collecting data on foreigners working in barbershops, hair salons

NSC has developed a retail SOP that will act as a guide for all shopping malls, traders and business owners, says health DG


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) said it is waiting for the data of the number of foreign workers employed at barbershops and hair salons before allowing the sector to reopen for business.

Health DG Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the data is necessary before the ministry could issue permission for barbershops to operate during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period.

He added that the ministry has accepted the standard operating procedure (SOP) for barbershops and hair salons and it is currently in the final process of review.

“We have received a letter from the association. We have seen the SOP. We are refining it because the industry normally requires a great deal of contact between barbers and their customers.

“So, we have to look into the data of foreign workers to see how we can manage the infection rates. We need to ensure that we can prevent Covid-19 from spreading,” he said in his daily Covid-19 briefing yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham said the SOP is already in place and the ministry is looking at it for implementation soon.

He added that the SOP is crucial as the infections among foreigners continue to be a major contributor to the number of new Covid-19 cases in the country.

As of yesterday, 37 new positive cases were reported, out of which two were imported cases and the remaining were local transmissions and from the new cases, 22 cases were non-Malaysians.

Among the active cases, 11 were placed in the intensive care unit with six of them required respiratory aid.

The increase in new cases brought the currently active ones to 1,218 and the country’s overall total to 6,978.

Meanwhile, 31 patients recovered, bringing the percentage of recovered cases to 80.9%, which equals to 5,646 as of yesterday.

One more death was recorded over the past 24 hours, bringing the Covid-19 death tally to 114.

The latest casualty was a 77-year-old woman who had suffered from liver cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Separately, the National Security Council (NSC) has developed a retail SOP that will act as a guide for all operators including shopping malls, traders and business owners.

Dr Noor Hisham said the retail SOP was developed in response to the many Malaysians who are preparing for Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

He added that the SOP will follow the current guidelines practised such as ensuring social distancing, limiting customer access inside the premises, ensuring all staff, suppliers and customers go through the process of body temperature screening, wearing of face masks and providing hand sanitisers.

“These SOP will include shopping complexes, department stores, supermarkets, boutiques or clothing stores, department stores, mini-marts and many other retail outlets.

“Retail employers will need to coordinate and monitor all of these established guidelines and requirements will be adhered to by both employees and customers,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the public should avoid shopping in crowded areas as it will make social distancing difficult to be maintained.

He also urged parents and guardians to avoid bringing children or babies to shopping malls and crowded places to protect them from the risk of Covid-19.