GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government and state Health Department will meet tomorrow to discuss the setting up of more low-risk Covid-19 centres in the state following a rise in the number of cases.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the 190-bed low-risk Covid-19 centre at the Caring Society Complex here and the 432-bed low-risk centre at the Balik Pulau Sports Complex were almost full as more foreign workers, both in the factory and construction sectors, tested positive for the virus following mandatory screening.
He said he had proposed for the Pesta grounds in Batu Uban to be turned into another low-risk Covid-19 centre.
"However, it will depend on assessments by the state Health Department, after weighing various factors," he said when met after handing out food packs to the B40 group at Pusat Kawan at Lebuh Klang here today.
Besides the two existing low-risk Covid-19 centres, Penang also has two more such centres, one each inside the Penang Remand and Seberang Prai prisons in Jawi.
Chow said the one inside the Penang Remand Prison had closed after no positive Covid-19 case was reported but the one inside the Seberang Prai Prison remained open.
He also said the state would see if the three quarantine centres within their respective institutions could be turned into low-risk Covid-19 centres.
The three are the Mara Excellence Centre in the Seberang Prai Selatan district, the Pusat Latihan Zakat (Pulaza) and the Institut Aminuddin Baki (northern branch) in Pokok Sena.
In the last three days alone, Penang recorded a total of 617 positive Civid-19 cases, bringing overall cumulative cases to 4,105.
Meanwhile, asked if the Penang government would propose to the National Security Council (NSC) to impose the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in red zone areas in the state, particularly those which recorded high numbers of positive Covid-19 cases, Chow said the state government and the Health Department would monitor the situation closely.
"As I have said, there will be cases recorded due to the ongoing swab tests, especially among foreign workers".
Since Dec 1, all foreign workers nationwide are required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening, with their respective employers bearing the cost of the procedure.
This follows the increasing number of positive cases among them, particularly at factories and construction sites, according to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The first phase of Covid-19 screenings was carried out in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Labuan and Negri Sembilan.