SELANGKAH will serve as the dedicated tripartite (employer, employee, and the authority) management platform for Preventing and Detecting Outbreaks at Ignition Sites (POIS), an initiative aimed to reduce and prevent workplace-related Covid-19 cases in Malaysia that are currently increasing.
An endeavour by the Selangor Task Force for Covid-19 (STFC), POIS encourages employers, especially those with large workforces living in confined spaces, to adopt enhanced public health measures on coronavirus outbreak prevention that aim to address the workspace and living space layout among the migrant workers.
As described on Dec 22, 2020 by STFC chairman Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, the programme also advocates rapid and frequent Covid-19 testing, and facilitates health education among workers in order to highlight the importance of safety in these trying times.
“As we learn to adjust to the new normal, screening for new positive cases shouldn’t be the only thing in our agenda,” health systems specialist and STFC member Dr Yap Wei Aun said.
“Instead, we should also find ways to keep industry operations running while protecting workers and communities.
“We can do so by preventing any outbreak through a package of supportive guidelines, technical assistance and health education. Even if there is a spread, we must keep it isolated.”
For the Enhanced Public Health Measures component in POIS, employers must establish a steering committee for Covid-19 control and prevention. Tasks include assigning workers into smaller groups that will work and travel separately, identifying high-risk areas and activities, developing an emergency response plan, minimising external contact and ensuring all standard operating procedures are complied.
E-tracing system SELANGKAH plays its part by providing a platform for every worker to record their movement via a new check-in and check-out function. For this purpose, posters containing SELANGKAH QR codes will be made available at all entrances and exits, including in their living quarters, work zones and shared common areas.
As for the Early Detection Testing Regime component, the committee is required to organise regular pooled RT-PCR and/or RTK-Ag testing for employees and act fast if there are any positive cases. The SELANGKAH platform monitors compliance in adopting the said measures, as well as analytics of the workers’ pooled risk assessment in order to facilitate and adjust the regularity of testing.
It acts as an early warning system that detects any emergence of clusters that can be contained before they become widespread with a potential spill-over effect to the surrounding neighbourhood.
Risk assessment and containment status analytics will provide better insights to both the authority and employers on how to continue their business operations with minimal interruptions.
POIS has been introduced to employers starting with those in Selangor, where the number of Covid-19 cases are currently the highest among all Malaysian states.
“We urge all manufacturing companies to join the POIS pledge because collectively we can make an even bigger impact on the nation’s effort to control the spread of the pandemic.
“POIS’ mission will definitely reach a much better outcome if states with many industrial areas like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor also take part in the initiative,” Dr Yap added.
The state government will identify and invite employers who are key beneficiaries of POIS to participate. Other employers in similar situations who wish to protect their investments from Covid-19 disruptions can also participate voluntarily.
However, companies with a large labour pool will be prioritised in the early stages of POIS’ deployment.
“Prevention efforts can be implemented through fines and prison sentences,” said Dr Yap. “However, there is a bigger opportunity to do so with a tripartite partnership like POIS, as every party understands the mutual benefit of preventing outbreaks at ignition sites.”
To join the pledge, visit pois.selangkah.my