KUALA LUMPUR,Dec 23 – The Health Ministry has recorded a total of 1,880 Covid-19 cases among health workers, many of whom have served as frontliners, up till Monday, director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.
They comprise those who showed symptoms, had returned from duty in Sabah, and those who had high-risk close contacts with other positive cases at work, home or public places.
They also include those placed at facilities where Covid-19 clusters occurred. Some were handling Covid-19 cases that assessments showed to be high-risk, while some were serving at periodic surveillance programmes in selected facilities.
A majority of the health workers – up to 33% of the cases – were infected by transmissions between co-workers. Another 33% got infected from the general community.
A total of 52,593 health workers have been screened for the virus up till December 14.
“The Health Ministry has taken note of developments on the increase in cases among health workers, especially in facilities in red zones and high-risk areas,” Noor Hisham said in a statement.
“Therefore, the ministry always emphasises on the importance of abiding by precautionary and preventive measures for Covid-19 infections among health workers during their duties at health facilities, and especially while they are in the community.”
He said the measures include the practice of the “new normal” during the course of their duties, such as frequent washing of hands, constant wearing of face masks while in health facilities, observing ethics in coughing, and ensuring physical distancing especially in shared areas such as pantries, restrooms, prayer rooms, counters, elevators, and changing rooms, among others.
He said there were also other gate-keeping measures such as measuring body temperatures of workers and declaration of symptoms at facility entrances, apart from daily monitoring of symptoms while on duty.
“Therefore, the ministry urges all frontliners to observe the preventive and precautionary measures so that infections among workers would be avoided,” he said.
He also urged people to cooperate with the ministry by constantly providing true information to the health workers so that an accurate risk assessment can be implemented.