Malls, offices step up preventive measures against COVID-19

KUALA LUMPUR (March 13): Mall and office operators are stepping up preventive measures to protect their visitors and employees amid the escalating COVID-19 cases in Malaysia.

Observations by Bernama show that companies and malls have started giving out sanitisers and implementing body temperature screening on all employees and visitors in an effort to ensure a secure and clean environment.

Some companies have also undertaken disinfection and cleaning activities at their premises to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 following the safety guidance provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

AEON Retail Malaysia chief executive officer Shafie Shamsuddin said the company has been adhering to the stringent MOH guidelines to ensure all its outlets are clean and safe for staff and customers.

“We are constantly disinfecting the areas and equipment that have direct contact with customers especially on cashier counters, trolleys, escalators as well as elevators and other common areas,” he said, adding the company has set up a dedicated team to manage and monitor the outbreak.

He said despite fears over the outbreak, AEON has not been badly affected and is still receiving a high number of visitors.

AEON Co. (M) Bhd currently operates 28 Malls, 34 outlets and nine MaxValu Prime Supermarkets across the country.

IOI Mall Puchong Complex manager Leong Chik Hou said the decrease in visitor numbers to the mall has been negligible.

“But it is too early to ascertain the total impact as yet,” he said.

The mall has stepped up precautionary measures since early February and plans to implement body temperature screening at voluntary temperature checkpoints in various locations in the mall.

“The implementation will be rolled out once we have a sufficient number of thermometers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) are implementing the necessary Business Continuity Plan (BCP) measures to minimise the potential COVID-19 impact on their operations despite not having cases of employees contracting the COVID-19.

Initiatives under the BCP include routine sanitising at their buildings and premises, daily body temperature screening, and requiring frontline employees to wear masks.

“TM has also taken the precautionary action of discouraging its business units and divisions from organising non-essential events to minimise contact in a large crowd,” TM chief human capital officer Farid Basir said in a statement today.

He said the decision was taken following MOH’s recommendation to cancel or postpone all mass gatherings as well as in recognition of the escalating COVID-19 situations that forced the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the outbreak a pandemic.

On March 11, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, making it the first outbreak to reach pandemic level since the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009.

Digi in another statement said it would continue to stay vigilant on implementing measures to ensure its business operations continue uninterrupted while safeguarding the wellbeing of its employees and their families.

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