Factory workers, jobless and prisoners made up 95pc of Penang’s Covid-19 cases from Jan 3, says chief minister

Opalyn Mok
·3-min read
Referring to data shared by the state health department, Chow Kon Yeow said this is followed by 30 per cent unemployed individuals, 15 per cent prisoners in prison or foreigners held at detention centres, four per cent construction workers and one per cent medical personnel. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Referring to data shared by the state health department, Chow Kon Yeow said this is followed by 30 per cent unemployed individuals, 15 per cent prisoners in prison or foreigners held at detention centres, four per cent construction workers and one per cent medical personnel. — Picture by Hari Anggara

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 22 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today disclosed that an estimated 50 per cent of the state’s Covid-19 cases from January 3 to February 20 involved factory workers.

Referring to data shared by the state health department, he said this is followed by 30 per cent unemployed individuals, 15 per cent prisoners in prison or foreigners held at detention centres, four per cent construction workers and one per cent medical personnel.

Based on these figures, Chow said the guidelines on the placement of workers will be sped up for further action by the local authorities.

“In general, even though we are entering the vaccination phase, the 3T approach must continue to be enforced as Penang is still recording three-digit cases daily,” he said.

The 3T approach refers to mass testing, tracing and treatment with an emphasis on wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands, physical distancing and awareness of the Covid-19 symptoms.

Chow said the 3T approach and the SOPs will still have to go hand in hand with the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The Penang lawmaker attended the state special security committee meeting this morning in which the vaccination programme, which will be implemented in Penang this week, was discussed.

“The meeting emphasised on more communication programs to build up the confidence of 70 per cent of the 1.3 million Penangites that have been targeted to receive the vaccination in order to create herd immunity in the state,” he said.

He hoped a Covid-19 Immunisation Taskforce would be formed at the state level to play a more effective role in implementing the vaccination programme.

He said data from the state health department also revealed that as at February 21, North Seberang Perai and South Seberang Perai no longer have any red zones.

“As for the northeast district and southwest district on the island, there are now only two red zones left in each district while only one red zone left in Central Seberang Perai,” he said.

The R-naught (Rt) for Penang has also dropped to 0.89 between February 14 and 20 as compared to the national Rt of 0.9.

He said at total 702 cases were recorded between February 14 and 20 in which 545 cases or 77.63 per cent are locals while 157 or 22.3 per cent are foreigners.

Overall, Chow said a total 11,491 Covid-19 tests were conducted during February 14 and 20 and a majority of the tests focused on close contacts and screening at factories, construction sites and those with symptoms.

As for the screening of foreign workers, a total 56,610 have been screened as at February 21 and out of that, a total 2,153 were positive.

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