COVID-19 | Microelectronics manufacturer Infineon is embarking on mass Covid-19 testing for all its employees in Malacca after a worker was found positive recently.
The mass screening exercise had since detected the virus in several more of its workers, according to a statement by its director of corporate communications Gregor Rodehüser.
"Infineon has been conducting 100 percent mass screening on all its workforce and business partners, and is expecting to complete this activity by the end of this week.
"Only employees who are tested negative are allowed to enter the disinfected premises. All workers who tested positive, a number slightly below the number suggested in your email, are now under the care of government hospitals," he said.
The statement by Rodehüser was in response to Malaysiakini's request for comments on the Covid-19 incidence among Infineon workers in Batu Berendam, Malacca.
Malaysiakini had received information that close to 20 individuals working at the factory there had been tested positive for the coronavirus.
The incident sparked fear among residents in the area, as well as some workers, as Infineon employs a large workforce for its operations.
An employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that fellow workers, too, are in fear to go to work due to the cases.
"We are hoping the media can put pressure on the Health Ministry or the minister, because the number of people infected at the workplace is on the rise but safety procedures (in place) are weak.
"Maybe the ministry or minister will change (the policy). Because those who suffer from this pandemic are people like us who are at the bottom," he said.
The employee claimed that workers also faced pressure from residents in the area who have started to avoid them.
Rodehüser gave an assurance that Infineon was taking all necessary steps to contain the spread of Covid-19 at the factory.
He said all contact tracing activities were immediately initiated in each of the positive cases and all employees who had been in contact with those infected are now in quarantine.
Infineon also performed disinfection of all areas within its premises visited by the affected employees in accordance with guidelines provided by the authorities.
"Safety remains our top priority. Infineon Malacca's management team has implemented significant necessary precautions at our site to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the safety of our employees, business partners and those surrounding them.
"These measures follow the guidance from local health and government agencies and business continuity experts to minimise contact between our employees and are consistent with social distancing and hygiene best practices.
"We also urge our employees and business partners to do their part to curb the spread of Covid-19 by being socially responsible. This includes to adhere strictly to the SOPs (standard operating procedures) and to provide full and accurate disclosure during the screening process," Rodehüser added.
The Health Ministry yesterday said that infection clusters at various workplaces were on the rise.
Of the 158 active clusters as of yesterday, 65 of them or 41.1 percent were related to workplace infection, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
"A total of 5,681 positive cases are related to workplace clusters involving 3,369 Malaysians and 2,312 foreigners," he told a press conference on Friday.
Noor Hisham also expressed the Health Ministry's appreciation to employers who had been assisting them in tracing positive cases among their workforce.
This has managed to control the spread of Covid-19 in the community and thus helped the ministry in its public health activities, he noted.