BALIK PULAU, Dec 30 — The Penang government today requested for the federal government’s assistance to provide allocation for employers that need to send their foreign workers for mandatory COVID-19 screening test.
State Housing, Local Government, Town and Country Planning Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said majority of employers are not able to finance the screening test for their workers as their business had been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Screening tests should be provided free under the federal government’s 2021 Budget. The federal government has allocated RM4 billion to the Health Ministry to curb the spread of this epidemic so I suggest we use the allocation for this screening test.
“We need to be fair because the impact is so bad on employers. In fact, all Malaysians need to be screened because we have the right to know that we are safe,” he told reporters at a press conference here today.
To date, he said, a total of 1.29 million inspections were conducted by local government authorities in Penang with a compliance rate of 99 percent.
Last Dec 21, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the cost of the screening test would be borne by the employer.
Earlier, Jagdeep presented face masks and basic necessities to frontliners in the Barat Daya district, who included the police, Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), Health Ministry and the Malaysian Department of Volunteers (RELA) at the Bahang Bay Hotel here, one of the COVID-19 quarantine centres in Penang.
He said there are two hotels in Penang still operating as quarantine centres.
Bahang Bay Hotel had accommodated 927 individuals,and at the other hotel, Rainbow Paradise Hotel, it had accommodated 1,319 individuals, he added. – BERNAMA