KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — The Social Security Organisation (Socso) today reiterated its call to employers to screen their foreign workers for Covid-19 now that it is cheaper to do so.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said it found out about the reduced cost in Covid-19 tests from speaking with medical groups, including the Malaysian Medical Association.
“Our engagement has indicated that the current cost for such screening is now almost halved from what it was,” he said in a statement.
However, he said that as of yesterday, only 2,601 employers have sent 74,482 foreign workers for the screening, which are sponsored by Socso. He added that this number represents only 8.5 per cent of foreign workers in the targeted areas.
“Based on the current orders and requirement, a total of 311,837 test kits have been distributed by Socso, far exceeding the number of foreign workers who have been screened so far,” he said.
Azman also noted the recent statement by Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan that the management of occupational disease should be borne solely by Socso.
“In reality, the principle of management of diseases at the workplace is always approached in a tripartite manner. Thus, the employers’ role is as important as the government’s role,” the Socso CEO said.
He urged employers to do their part to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission in Malaysia by sending their foreign workers for screening as soon as possible.
“Only by doing this together, our collaborative effort will stand a chance to curb the disease and bring back our livelihood as before,” he said.
Azman said Socso had taken the initiative to get foreign workers tested by purchasing nearly one million Antigen Rapid Test Kits since December 1 and distributing them to the healthcare facilities that are willing to take part in the programme.
He said the units purchased is enough to cover the number of foreign workers registered with Socso in six states: Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Penang, Sabah and Labuan.