By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, June 18: Out of concern for the emergence of positive cases among waste collectors, some 100 staff of Trienekens (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd Kuching have been administered with the Covid-19 vaccine yesterday.
Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian described these workers as “forgotten frontliners and heroes” who have been exposed to the risk of Covid-19 while carrying out their waste collection duty.
“A total of 17 Trienekens employees were confirmed positive for the virus recently with 60 other employees (40 per cent of its workforce) are currently being quarantined.
“This resulted in reduced services for Kuching South City Council (MBKS), Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) waste collection throughout Kuching, posing another type of public health risk,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.
Dr Sim also mentioned that he was told that the company have been practising all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as per Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) guidelines and even giving each staff member a Vitamin C tablet everyday.
There are also no restrictions on use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the trucks are sanitised daily.
Despite all that, they were not exempted from being exposed to the Covid-19, which saw 17 workers contracted the infection.
Due to that, Dr Sim said the authorities have taken the step to vaccinate the Trienekens staff in order to protect the unsung heroes.
“Thanks to the volunteers, medical doctors and nurses from Sarawak Private Medical Practitioner Society, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) team led by its deputy vice chancellor Prof Dr Thomas Kana @ Kamarudin Kana, Timberland Medical Centre (TMC)’s ambulance on standby, together with volunteers from non-governmental organisation (NGO), vaccinating 100 Trienekens staff from MySejahtera app at Klinik Kesihatan Batu Kawa.
“We need to help each other in time of crisis. No politics, save lives. Everyone has a role to play and do your part,” he said.
On June 16, Trienekens in a statement confirmed that 17 of their employees from the logistics and services division have tested positive for Covid-19, resulting in waste collection services temporary scheduled to happen only once a week. — DayakDaily