Construction industry wants vaccination priority and phased reopening to begin



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KUALA LUMPUR: Vaccination priority should be given to workers in the construction industry and those in the construction material supply chain as part of phase two of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Program (PICK) , with a goal of full vaccination – or two doses – by the third quarter of 2021, said the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM).

The association also urged the government to allow the reopening of the construction sector in stages now and “by priority”.

Its chairman Tan Sri Sufri Zin said that under the Construction Industry Vaccination Program (CIVac), only 40,000 vaccines were allocated to workers in phase one and 100,000 in phase two, which accounts for only 10% of the total construction industry workforce, or about 1.4 million people.

“Therefore, there is concern that the goal of collective immunity networks may not be achieved according to government planning,” he said in a statement today.

According to Sufri, the association also agreed that the reopening of the construction industry should start now and not in phase three of the National Recovery Plan (PNR).

“Using threshold values ​​collectively at the national level, as opposed to using specific local situations, is not very helpful in planning our members,” he said.

Sufri said the extension of Phase 1 until July 2021 without a specific end date is also a sign that the transition to the next phase of the PNR remains subjective.

“Therefore, we recommend that the reopening of the construction industry be implemented in stages and in order of priority, with flexibility given to certain (segments) of the industry to resume operations when part of their workforce has been vaccinated, ”he said.

Sufri said the MMFA, along with 35 other construction industry associations, sent a joint memorandum to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in this regard.

“Other issues and proposals included include a study expanding the operational coverage of the Price Variation Clause (VOP) and Automatic Extension of Time (EOT) for construction projects in the private sector, as well as changes to the measures. Temporary reduction in the Impact of Coronavirus Disease Act 2019 (COVID-19) 2020 to expressly include time and cost sharing requests, ”he said. – Bernama

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