Allow leave for employees to undergo screening

Dr Sim Kui Hian at the press conference. Photo: Munirah Zhamri

KUCHING: Employers are urged to allow their employees to go for screening if they are feeling unwell, said Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“One should not go to work if they feel unwell. Employers should be encouraged to allow their workers to be absent from work and make sure they go for screening.

“This is how they can  protect their workplace and avoid disruption in their work operation,” he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Feb 24).

He said this was among the observations recorded by the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) Covid-19 response team on the trend of the pandemic over the last two weeks.

Dr Sim said there were also many members of the public who viewed that only those who were unwell should be worried about Covid-19.

“Many have simply dismissed the possibility of Covid-19 as they remain well despite being identified as a close contact to a positive case.

“The implication is that Covid-19 is spread to family members or friends who are at risk of severe (illness due to) Covid-19,” he said.

He said the temporary loss of smell or taste should be enough to ring alarm bells on Covid-19 as one does not to need to have complete or prolonged loss of taste or smell.

“We have seen some had had already recovered from these symptoms by the time they were tracked down by contact tracers. They only admitted to have had such symptoms after they were traced through a positive case friend or relative.

“Indeed these individuals were the most likely sources of infection of positive cases involving their friends or family members,” he said.

On contact tracing, the Batu Kawa assemblyman said the past two weeks indicated that the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration had been a factor in the surge of Covid-19 cases in Kuching and Samarahan.

“The last day of CNY, Chap Goh Mei, will be another hot bed event for Covid-19 transmission to occur,” he said, adding that positive cases had been repeatedly linked to sociocultural event associated with large gatherings.