Selangor tightens screws on factories as Covid-19 cases spiral

·2-min read
Selangor tightens screws on factories as Covid-19 cases spiral
Selangor tightens screws on factories as Covid-19 cases spiral

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said the state government will step up its monitoring of factories and act against errant businesses amid a spiralling number of Covid-19 cases.

This is after Selangor recorded a whopping 3,126 new cases yesterday, pushing the national daily tally to a record high of 5,725.

The previous record for Selangor was 1,623 new cases on Nov 24 last year.

Amirudin, in a statement today, attributed the dramatic spike in Selangor to a backlog over the last 10 days and warned private clinics and hospitals that they would be fined if they delay in reporting new Covid-19 cases.

"The Selangor Health Department's briefing explained the rise in cases was contributed by a number of factors.

"Among the reasons were due to cumulative cases (backlog cases) from the screening of factory workers, prisons as well as private clinics and hospitals which were not reported realtime.

"The backlog was from cases in the last 10 days. To overcome this problem, the Selangor Health Department will fine private clinics and hospitals that do not immediately report positive cases through the Public Health Lab Information System (Simka)," he said.

The decision was made last night during a meeting that was convened in response to the record number of Covid-19 cases announced by the Health Ministry.

Amirudin said the meeting also identified factories across the state to be a hotspot for the spread of Covid-19.

Last week, a leaked letter revealed that the Health Ministry wanted to shut down more economic areas after identifying the manufacturing sector as the "main source" of Covid-19 infections.

However, it has seen pushback from government ministers, including Azmin Ali and Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Amirudin said the state government will implement a programme to monitor the factories dubbed "Preventing Outbreak at Ignition Site" (POIS).

Under the programme, he said screening would be conducted at all factories and workplace that have the potential of developing into a Covid-19 cluster.

"POIS will be conducted in cooperation between the Selangor Health Department, Selgate Corporation Sdn Bhd, all municipal councils and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers.

"To prevent new Covid-19 clusters at factories and workplaces, the Selangor government will propose to the federal government to take stern action and shutdown factories that conceal positive cases among their workers or refuse to cooperate in contact-tracing," he said.

In addition, Amirudin said more Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) will be set up in the districts of Petaling, Hulu Langat and Gombak where there is a high prevalence of Covid-19 cases.

The CAC evaluates Covid-19 patients on the severity of infection to determine the nature of the treatment they need - quarantine or hospital.

Amirudin also urged the public to abide by the Health Ministry's standard operating procedures, constantly put on a mask and practise social distancing.