Cleaners, security guards – the forgotten frontliners

Cleaners, security guards – the forgotten frontliners

COVID-19 | There has been much debate over who should receive fast-tracked Covid-19 vaccines under phase one of the national immunisation plan, but some people in certain occupations that have toiled away during the pandemic have not received the attention they deserve.

The government plans to vaccinate medical staff, enforcers and elected representatives first and is even prepared to consider teachers and medical personnel.

But cleaners have not received much attention until the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) yesterday suggested that the government moves cleaners up the queue while letting politicians wait a bit longer.

Even though hospital cleaners have played an instrumental role during the pandemic, they do not qualify for the government’s special RM600 monthly allowances for frontline staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, there is a push to ensure that they will not be left out again – this time in the vaccination plan.

The Alliances of Government Contract Workers backed the MMA’s call to consider hospital cleaners as frontliners.

“The Alliances of Government Contract Workers support MMA’s suggestion that vaccination for cleaners must be a priority.

“While recognising the cleaners as frontliners, the MMA should also push for the government to extend the allowances to these workers as well,” its secretary M Sivaranjani said in a statement.

Sivaranjani, who is also PSM’s workers’ bureau coordinator, added that likewise, the proposal to include teachers in phase one of the vaccination plan should also include school cleaners and security guards.

She added that compared with children, older people face higher risks when infected with Covid-19.

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