About 78,000 foreign workers in Penang yet to be screened for Covid-19, says exco

Opalyn Mok
·2-min read
Penang exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to reporters during a press conference at Komtar on January 6, 2021.  — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang exco Jagdeep Singh Deo speaks to reporters during a press conference at Komtar on January 6, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 23 — About 78,880 registered foreign workers in Penang have not been screened for Covid-19 yet, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The housing, local government and town and country planning committee chairman said there were a total 135,490 registered foreign workers in Penang.

As at February 21, a total of 56,610 registered foreign workers in Penang have been screened for Covid-19, from which 2,153 tested positive.

"Due to this, to ensure these foreign workers do not live in residential areas so as to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the state has decided that foreign factory workers will be placed at suitable vacant lots within the factories they worked in," he said in a press conference today.

Jagdeep said a total four factories, two in North Seberang Perai, one in Central Seberang Perai and one in South Seberang Perai, have applied to convert lots in the factory grounds into accommodation for foreign workers.

Alternatively, the foreign workers will also be placed at commercial schemes far from residential areas, he added.

As of today, he said Penang has two hostels housing foreign workers, one in Bukit Minyak on the mainland and one in Batu Maung.

The hostel in Bukit Minyak has a total 369 units to accommodate 3,321 workers while the one in Batu Maung has 364 units accommodating 2,900 workers.

Six more hostels are being established in Penang — two in Central Seberang Perai, three in South Seberang Perai and one in the southwest district on the island.

Out of the six, only two — one at the Nafiri Industrial Area in South Seberang Perai and one at Jalan Permatang Tinggi at Central Seberang Perai — are currently under construction.

Three others are still pending approval while one by the Penang Development Corporation at the North Penang Science Park is still pending a request for proposal.

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