MITI lists SOP for essential businesses operating during MCO

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 16): The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has released its amended list of essential services which are allowed to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, along with the standard operating procedure to be obeyed by these businesses.

It is noted that the list of services to resume is similar to the previous list it released, with the exception of barber shops, hairdressing salons and opticians, which have since been removed from the list.

The latest extended list of essential services include the automotive industry; tooling and machinery industry; aerospace industry; construction and construction-related industries; scientific, professional and technical industries, as well as research and development; social health and registered traditional medicine services; hardware, electrical and electronic stores involved in wholesale and retail; and laundry services.

“Companies in the sectors that are allowed to operate must adhere to the set SOPs for their respective sectors. The allowance to resume operations is also subject to the adherence to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and guidelines of other authoritative agencies,” said MITI in a statement.

The ministry has made it mandatory for companies that are resuming operations to provide a list of the employees that are on duty during the MCO period and that the movement of these employees are limited to the journey from their homes to their work premises.

Each company will have to do a temperature check as well as to check for symptoms such as coughing, sore throat or respiratory difficulty. The relevant readings will need to be kept for a period of at least three months, for future reference.

The ministry will be working with the Ministry of Human Resource via the Social Security Organisation (Socso), whereby employees are required to undergo Covid-19 testing, to ensure the employees do not have the virus.

Meanwhile, the construction industry will be subject to the guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Works and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), which includes the limiting of the number of workers to a minimum level or no more than 50% of the required workforce.

These companies will also have to give full cooperation to the MoH in undertaking contact tracing of workers that have been infected and will have to provide transportation for the movement of workers, taking note of social distancing requirements, with the vehicles used to be sanitised before and after usage.

The companies will also need to explain the guidelines in handling Covid-19 to their value chain. If a company provides centralised labour quarters (CLQ) for its workers, the company will need to obey the CLQ and construction workers’ accommodation guidelines, which has been outlined by CIDB and any other relevant agencies.

These requirements will be enforced by a team comprising the Public Works Department (JKR), CIDB, Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL), local authorities and the Department of Safety and Health.

“Non-compliance to the SOP is a criminal offence under Rule 11 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) (No. 3) 2020 Regulations.

“Failure to comply with the SOP will result in the approval to resume operations to be immediately revoked, with the company to be subject to legal action under the relevant act,” said the ministry.

To date, MITI has revoked the approvals for four companies which had breached the guidelines, while 35 companies, which were reported to be in breach of the SOP, are being investigated by the Department of Labour of Peninsular Malaysia and the Royal Malaysia Police.

It said the allowance for companies to operate, within strict guidelines, is to ensure the sufficient supply of food, medicine and medical equipment, and to lighten the burden of the people and mitigate the impact of the MCO on the economy.

MITI noted Bank Negara Malaysia’s economic growth forecast of between -2% and 0.5% for 2020 and said that the projection takes into account a four-week-long MCO.

“Due to the ceasing of non-essential services for four weeks, the nation’s economy is estimated to be operating at 45% of its capacity. The decision to allow additional sectors to operate, by stages, during Phase 3 of the MCO will increase the nation’s operating capacity,” said the ministry.

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