The Ministry of Health (MOH) has detected a new Covid-19 cluster at a construction site in Kuala Lumpur after 44 cases were reported. Without giving further information about the cluster, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah urged construction companies to pay attention not only to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) at worksites but also to workers’ accommodations.

“Our studies show that most probably (it happened because) the foreign workers are staying in confined or cramped spaces. That is the main factor for the spread of infection among them,” he said at a daily Covid-19 media conference yesterday.

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“It is important to also look at their (workers’) accommodation and how they live there. For example, in Masjid India, 30 workers were staying together in one small flat,” he said.He added that construction companies should look at other factors besides complying with the SOPS because living in confined areas is one of the causes for the virus to spread.

Asked whether Malaysia is ready to get involved with the vaccine research undertaken by Thailand, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH is prepared to conduct joint research with other countries.

According to him, a recent delegation from China had told the ministry that China was into phase two of its research and was expecting a report in November or December on whether the vaccine tests conducted on animals were successful before proceeding to phase three for trials on humans.

“We (MOH) haven’t received a report about testing on humans, and now it has only been done on animals. If they have determined that the vaccine could be successfully applied on animals and can be used on humans, MOH will try to cooperate with the country to do joint research,” he said.

Thailand has begun Covid-19 vaccine testing on monkeys after the testing on mice showed positive results.

Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute director Nakorn Premsri was reported as saying if the testing on monkeys produced positive results, by the end of this year or early next year, they could conduct human trials.

News Credit: The Star Malaysia