Covid 19 Vaccine Add Foreign Workers In High Risk Group If Warranted Who
Host countries of migrant workers should consider ways to vaccinate foreign workers against Covid-19, said the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO official Dr Socorro Escalante said while WHO has listed groups to be given priority for vaccination, namely healthcare workers, the elderly, and those with underlying illnesses, migrant workers should also be included in the high-risk category if there is a need.
“Our aim is to prevent morbidity and mortality, protect the health system, and prevent social and economic disruption,” said the Coordinator for Essential Medicines and Health Technologies for the WHO's Western Pacific region.
She was speaking during a virtual press conference today.
Malaysia in recent weeks recorded thousands of infections among foreign labourers and, according to WHO regional figures, reported the second-highest number of Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours within the region at 1,371 cases behind Japan.
In the past month, a majority of daily totals have been due to outbreaks among foreign workers in the Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan, and Penang, and also in prisons.
This issue comes as glove manufacturer Top Glove reported more than 5,600 cases among its factory workers in Klang. Other glove manufacturers have also reported outbreaks.
Similar outbreaks among foreign workers have also plagued other countries, such as Singapore earlier this year.
The outbreaks have been blamed on cramped housing for the foreign workers and also a lack of compliance with preventive measures.
Officials at the virtual press conference said countries in the region will likely receive their vaccines under the Covax facility within the second quarter of 2021.
Under the facility, at least 20 percent of a member country’s population is guaranteed to receive a Covid-19 vaccine once it becomes available.
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