12 Aug 2021
I refer to Penang’s George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong’s statement on the 12 of August 2021 where he interprets the National Security Council (NSC) orders to be that only customers must be fully vaccinated and not the workers.
We cannot have two separate rules for employees and customers. I am fully in agreement with State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo’s position that that workers must be fully vaccinated too. Allowing the unvaccinated to serve customers is a grave mistake, as the fully vaccinated can still get infected. Both employees and customers should be fully vaccinated in order to allow dine-in to go on without the chance of infections.
On the 7th of August, YB Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong chaired a meeting with several business associations where he had stressed the need for both customers and employees to be fully vaccinated if are to be allowed to operate under the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Although this was in the context of the automotive industry, this should logically apply to all businesses in other sectors as well.
From a business perspective some might find this impractical; but if an infection breaks out in your restaurant, you might be faced with a long period of closure as your staff is taken away for isolation. Cost wise, this is a better option.
Since vaccinated can still be re-infected, periodic testing once every 10 days or so is a must for Malaysian businesses to reopen, in order to isolate workers n customers who got infected. There should be pressure on the government to make this mandatory, and provide subsidies so that test kit are more easily available. For instance, in Germany, a COVID-19 Antigen Test only costs €0.80 or about RM5.
Once such test kits are made cheap more widely available, it would be practical to enforce a requirement for a customer’s latest test result to be shown in MySejahtera to be checked at the door before entering a restaurant.
The NSC must redraw the SOPs again to ensure both employee and consumer safety are assured while reopening the economy.