Dr Noor Hisham Calls For Better Living Conditions For Foreign Workers

Today's tally of 103 new COVID-19 cases marks the third time in the last five days that three-digit numbers have been recorded in the country. Previously, 172 cases were recorded on 25 May and 187 on 26 May.

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Malaysia today recorded 103 new COVID-19 cases

Today's tally of new numbers marks the third time in a week that three-digit numbers have been recorded.

Of the 103 cases today, seven are imported cases and 96 are local transmission, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who shared the latest COVID-19 stats in his press briefing.

Since 22 May, there has been no reported death due to the coronavirus, with the death toll remaining at 115 out of the 7,732 cumulative total of cases since 24 January.

As of today, the number of active cases is 1,382 after 66 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours.

There are eight cases being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and two need ventilator support.

Dr Noor Hisham said that a new cluster has been identified

The new cluster involves a cleaning company with workers from Bangladesh.

According to the Health D-G, there are 24 cases in the cleaning company cluster. Of which, 20 live in a hostel in Kuala Langat, Selangor and four in an apartment in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

While praising the company for taking its own initiative to send the workers for testing, which he noted was how the cluster was identified, he said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is working to get their close contacts.

Dr Noor Hisham highlighted that since 4 May, when the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) began, almost 80% of new cases consist of foreign workers in the country.

He said that employers who hire foreign workers are urged to conduct their own screening, considering it is for their own benefit

According to Dr Noor Hisham, while the ministry is looking into assisting the employers, in the meantime, those employing foreign workers should do their own screening.

"One of the reasons that we find is that perhaps because of the confined spaces and crowded accommodations that they have causes them to not be able to practise social distancing. If one of them is positive then the whole house will be positive as well," he said, adding that this is a lesson learned.

He stressed that the lack of proper living spaces should be addressed as soon as possible.

"We are not looking into a sector, but (overall) accommodation. If we can address the accommodation issue of foreign workers, then I think we can solve this problem," he said, before adding that the accommodation issue requires attention not just due to COVID-19 but other infectious diseases as well.

"This is something that we have to look seriously and work together with inter-agencies, inter-ministries. More importantly, it's a whole government and whole society approach."

Image via SAYS

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