KUCHING, June 28 — Sarawak will conduct random COVID-19 screening tests on workers at construction sites in the cities throughout the state beginning next week, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah, who is also the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman, said tests need to be conducted as there were two Indonesian workers and a local supervisor who were tested positive for COVID-19 recently.
“We will determine whether the existing policy involving workers at construction sites in Sarawak should be re-evaluated based on the results of the random tests,” he told reporters after observing the use of COVIDTrace app at a shopping complex here today.
Also present was Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
Uggah said if any positive cases were detected among workers, then the construction site where the workers work would be temporarily closed to conduct checks on other workers as well as residents near the site.
“In Kuching, there are construction sites near to residential areas and houses of worship. So, if there are any positive cases, the tracing team will conduct intensive contact tracing,” he added.
According to Uggah, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has asked SDMC to expand its focus on construction sites to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in the state.
“The Chief Minister has also asked the Public Works Department (JKR) to come up with the standard operating procedures (SOP) on the construction workers quarters because some are just too cramped,” he added.
Uggah said the SOP will ensure that the social distancing rule is taken into consideration when building workers quarters at construction projects undertaken by the government.
He stressed that employers need to pay the 14-day mandatory quarantine fees and COVID-19 screening tests for the foreign workers.
“The hotel quarantine cost per day is RM150 while the COVID-19 screening tests cost about RM300 per person,” he added.