Cramped living space, poor hygiene cause of COVID-19 infection among foreign workers – Health DG


Cramped living spaces and poor hygiene have been identified as the causes of COVID-19 infection among foreign workers, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture).

He said the confined spaces resulted in no room for social distancing among the workers.

Hence, he said, employers were responsible for educating their workers on good hygiene practices and COVID-19 preventive measures.

“Employers must also ensure that preventive measures are not only practised at work places but at their living quarters as well in a bid to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“The SOP (standard operating procedure) compliance at work will mean nothing if employers are not proactive in ensuring preventive measures are also practised by their workers at their accommodation,” he said at the daily briefing on COVID-19 today.

Dr Noor Hisham reminded employers to make sure similar SOP compliance was practised at both construction sites and workers’ accommodation.

“Make sure the beds or sleeping area are separated by at least one or two metres from one another and avoid preparing food in groups.

“Avoid dining in large groups and make sure the entertainment area or the living space is not crowded with people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has detected three clusters involving construction sites with 88 positive cases of COVID-19 to date.

Following are the statistics for the three clusters:

  1. Kuala Lumpur construction site cluster, with 488 samples taken:
  • 31 positive cases comprising 28 Bangladeshis and two Indonesians
  • 457 were found to be negative

       2. Setia Alam construction site cluster, where 91 samples were taken:

  • 13 positive cases among Bangladeshis workers
  • 78 came out negative

       3. 2nd Kuala Lumpur construction site cluster, where 350 samples taken:

  • 44 were tested positive comprising 34 Bangladeshis, nine Indonesians and one Malaysian (detected on May 25)
  • 306 others were tested negative