MOH Screens 7 Hospital Cleaning Staff For COVID-19 Following Mistreatment Allegation

The seven cleaning workers received COVID-19 screenings two days after a union group raised concerns about the issue.

Cover image via Google Maps & Yusof Mat isa/Malay Mail

The Ministry of Health ordered everyone who works in Teluk Intan Hospital to undergo COVID-19 tests following an allegation that seven cleaning workers were being barred from screenings there

In a Facebook post, Kesatuan Pekerja Swasta Hospital Kerajaan, a union for private sector employees working in government hospitals, thanked Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah for making an arrangement to get the seven cleaning workers tested for COVID-19.

The union group said the cleaning workers received screenings at about 2pm yesterday, 26 March, two days after they first raised the issue on Facebook.

"Thank you, Teluk Intan Hospital, for taking care of the health of the cleaning workers by giving them COVID-19 screenings. We also hope all cleaning workers at the hospital will receiving screenings to ensure their safety," the union group said in the Facebook statement published last night.

Teluk Intan Hospital, Perak.

Image via Google Maps

However, the union group said the MOH had denied their claim that the seven cleaning workers were specifically discriminated from screenings prior to this

Kesatuan Pekerja Swasta Hospital Kerajaan tweeted yesterday morning that a supervisor from UEM Edgenta, the employer of the seven cleaning workers, allegedly barred them from getting tested.

The supervisor allegedly reasoned that no one will be able to replace them if they are told to undergo quarantine.

In the statement last night, the union group lambasted UEM Edgenta for the mistreatment and claimed that the supervisor even tried to bribe the seven workers from exposing the truth.

"The workers are also threatened by (the supervisor), saying that if anyone reports and discloses any matter or problem that occurs at the hospital to the union, they will be terminated," the statement read.

The union group urged the MOH to act against the company for negligence, adding that cleaners had been neglected despite being among the front liners working hard to combat the outbreak in the country.

UEM Edgenta, a company funded by Malaysia's sovereign wealth Khazanah Nasional.

Image via Portal Berita RTM

UEM Edgenta's management has since released a statement denying the allegation presented by Kesatuan Pekerja Swasta Hospital Kerajaan

According to Free Malaysia Today, the Khazanah Nasional-funded company confirmed that the seven employees have undergone screenings or are waiting for test results after coming into close contact with healthcare officers who tested positive for COVID-19 in Teluk Intan Hospital.

UEM Edgenta maintained that they complied with infection control protocols set by the MOH.

In response, the union group said the company should have taken precautionary measures earlier.

"The union urged UEM Edgenta not to distort facts and take more effective measures to ensure the safety of cleaning workers who are also front liners working hard to #FlattenTheCurve," it said.

At the time of writing, there are 39 healthcare officers who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Perak hospital

Image via Harian Metro

Malaysiakini reported that Teluk Intan Hospital is Malaysia's worst-hit hospital with the most healthcare officers down with the coronavirus.

It is reported that the group came back from a wedding in Putrajaya, which was also attended by people from the KL tabligh gathering.

You can read the full statement by the union group here:

In a Twitter thread yesterday, 26 March, the union group claimed that seven of their members were denied COVID-19 screenings under their supervisor's directive:

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