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apple developer(buyappleacc.com):After unvaccinated cleaner dies, DG says contractors should get staff jabbed

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Firms contracted to work in public hospitals are responsible for getting their staff vaccinated against Covid-19, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

However, it is not clear if the Health Ministry will impose penalties if such firms fail to comply.

Opposition MPs, meanwhile, have proposed that the ministry compels its contractors to inoculate employees by making it a policy and contractual obligation.

This comes after an unvaccinated contract cleaner at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) in Klang died of the virus on July 22.

The 36-year-old Indonesian woman began working at the Covid-stricken public hospital in June 2021. She was hospitalised for Covid-19 on July 12 and died 10 days later, despite being put on a ventilator that day.

Responding to this woman’s death, Noor Hisham tweeted that the ministry had already “instructed” all Covid-19 hospital workers to be vaccinated.

This included cleaners who were hired by concessionaire companies.

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We have instructed all those working in covid-19 hospitals to be vaccinated including the cleaners. They are under the concessionaire companies.

— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) August 16, 2021 rr

The top official later told Malaysiakini that these instructions were issued back when the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) began.

“When we started vaccination for NIP Phase 1, we included all staff working in Covid-19 wards and Intensive Care Units (ICUs),” he said, adding that cleaners at such wards were also to be jabbed.

Phase 1 was from February to April.

“The onus is on the companies to make sure all their workers get vaccinated as (per) our guidelines,” he added.

Any penalty?

As of publication time, Noor Hisham had yet to answer further questions on whether there was a penalty for concessionaire companies that failed to vaccinate their workers.

He was also yet to provide data on the number of hospital support and contract workers who were not fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

In the case of the late HTAR cleaner, she had been employed by subcontractor Harta Maintenance Sdn Bhd and contractor Radicare (M) Sdn Bhd.

Radicare previously told Malaysiakini that it could not provide information on the matter.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii

HTAR director Dr Zulkarnain Mohd Rawi, meanwhile, had directed all questions about the cleaner to Radicare.

The National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (NUWHSAS) had questioned why Radicare and Harta Maintenance failed to get the frontliner vaccinated.

It demanded that the ministry compensates and assists family members of cleaners who contracted Covid-19 at work and died.

Make it policy, contractual

In a comment to Malaysiakini, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urged the ministry to compel concessionaires to inoculate their staff.

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