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New COVID-19 cluster detected at KL construction site with 44 cases

New COVID-19 cluster detected at KL construction site with 44 cases
Dr Noor Hisham said even though worksite SOP had been provided to construction companies, they should also focus on other related aspects. - Filepic/BERNAMA
PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected a new COVID-19 cluster at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur where 44 cases were reported today.

Without giving further information about the cluster, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah urged construction companies to pay attention not only to the standard operating procedure (SOP) for worksites but also to workers’ accommodations.
“Our studies show that most probably (it happened because) the foreign workers are staying in confined or cramped spaces. That is the main factor for the spread of infection among them,” he said at a daily COVID-19 media conference here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said even though worksite SOP had been provided to construction companies, they should also focus on other related aspects.
“It is important to also look at their (workers’) accommodation and how they live there. For example, in Masjid India, 30 workers were staying together in one small flat,” he said.

He said construction companies should look at other factors besides complying with the SOP because living in confined areas is one of the causes for the virus to spread.

“We (MOH) believe that narrow spaces are one of the important factors that should be delved into and (let’s) look at how social distancing can be implemented. Today we don’t have the vaccine, but the ‘vaccine’ is safe distancing,” he said.

Asked whether Malaysia is ready to get involved with the vaccine research undertaken by Thailand, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH is prepared to conduct joint research with other countries.

According to him, a recent delegation from China had told the ministry that China was into phase two of its research and was expecting a report in November or December on whether the vaccine tests conducted on animals were successful before proceeding to phase three for trials on humans.

“We (MOH) haven’t received a report about testings on humans, and now it has only been done on animals.  If they have determined that the vaccine could be successfully applied on animals and can be used on humans, MOH will try to cooperate with the country to do joint research,” he said.

-- BERNAMA



Tag: Ministry of Health, new cluster, COVID-19, construction site, Kuala Lumpur, foreign workers, health DG, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah



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