601 foreigners with COVID19; employers must take preventive measures

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PUTRAJAYA, April 17 (Bernama) – There are 601 positive COVID-19 cases involving foreigners detected in the country so far, said Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said of the total, 356 cases were being treated, 242 cases have recovered while three deaths were reported.

They comprised tourists, foreign workers, refugees and asylum seekers with Indonesians (108) leading in terms of nationality, followed by Filipino (104); Bangladeshi (63); Indians (60); and Pakistanis (51).

“There was a big jump in COVID-19 cases in Singapore linked to the spread of the disease at worker dormitories reportedly contributing to more than 50 per cent of the overall positive cases in the country.

“Taking a lesson from this situation and considering Malaysia also has many foreign workers, measures should be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among foreigners here,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

In this regard, he stressed that employers using foreign labour should be responsible to ensure preventive measures are taken.

This included safe social distancing to prevent workers from gathering in confined space and avoid too many workers from congregating, he said.

“If accommodation is provided, preventive measures such as social distancing and personal hygiene should be practised at such premises.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham announced that the Ministry of Health (MOH) would be cooperating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to ensure refugees and asylum seekers are covered in the government’s prevent and control activities.

“MOH is also cooperating with the foreign missions concerned in Malaysia and non-governmental organisations to disseminate information to foreigners in their mother tongues.

“National International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Points (NFPs) of the related countries would also be kept abreast with COVID-19 positive cases among foreigners in Malaysia,” he said.

– BERNAMA