SHAH ALAM: It is inaccurate to lay the blame on factories and the manufacturing sector for the high number of Covid-19 cases, says Senior Minister and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali.
He said the number of infections in these sectors was comparatively small.
He added that only 5% to 10% of the total number of cases came from these sectors.
Statistics and data from the Health Ministry indicate that 75% of the cases today are sporadic in nature, meaning the virus is within the community, he said after visiting the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) at Setia City Convention Centre here yesterday.
Azmin said the remaining 25% was attributable to various clusters including that from workplaces, and Health Ministry data proved that the manufacturing sector only contributed a small fraction of the daily cases.
Certainly, when the economic sector is allowed to operate, cases could occur in the sector. Its not like the education sector, which we have fully closed, and not like the social sector, which is also fully closed.
But the economic sector, especially for essential goods and services, we have decided to allow a little activity to protect and take care of the peoples economy because Malaysia is a nation involved in the global supply chain, he added.
The manufacturing sector and factories were given priority under Pikas because both had been operating throughout the movement control order, especially the sub-sectors involving essential goods and services, said Azmin.
They cannot work from home and 60% of the total number of employees have to be at the workplace, so we have to protect and vaccinate them so that it will be safe for them to be at their workplaces as well as to stop workplace-related infections, he added.
On another matter, Azmin said the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and Health Ministry had given their assurance that the supply of vaccines would be sufficient for the following months.
There was a little challenge for the month of June, but according to reports provided, the supply of vaccines is more certain for July and August and subsequent months, he said.
Yesterdays exercise marked the beginning of vaccinations for the manufacturing sector and factory workers in Selangor.
As at June 27, 669,846 employees from 4,537 companies nationwide have registered under Pikas.
Under the programme, the vaccines are provided free of charge by the government while industry players will collectively provide the venues as well as the personnel required to manage and administer the vaccination.