UPDATE: The Infocomm Media Development Authority has given NetLink Trust permission to continue with service provisioning to homes and in-office premises from 21 April.
SINGAPORE — Fibre network operator NetLink Trust said on Friday (17 April) that four employees of one of its contractors had tested positive for COVID-19 between 14 April and 16 April.
“Two of these workers have visited 34 homes for fibre installation work between 1 April 2020 and 14 April 2020. The other two were not involved in works that require visits to homes and offices,” said NetLink in a media release.
The company noted that none of the infected workers had been in contact with NetLink staff within the last 14 days. It added that it is working with the contractor to assist the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its contract tracing efforts to contact all parties that the workers had come into contact with.
“As an additional safeguard to protect the public, our employees and business partners, we have temporarily suspended all works that require visits to homes or offices in line with (the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s) directions,” said NetLink.
“We are also reaching out to affected parties with current service orders to inform them of the suspension.”
The company added that it had implemented precautionary measures in line with MOH and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) guidelines since end-January.
Separately, the IMDA said in a statement that it had been informed about the infected workers by NetLink.
“We are working with NetLink to review their precautionary measures in the next few days. In the meantime, as a further precaution, NetLink has been directed to suspend all service orders for residences and in-office premises until this Sunday,” said the authority.
On 21 April, IMDA gave NetLink Trust permission to resume its service provisioning to homes and in-office premises on the same day.
“IMDA has assessed that the COVID-19 safety measures adopted by NetLink Trust and its contractors comply with the advisories issued by the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Health,” IMDA said.
“We note that NetLink Trust has reminded its contractors to regularly sanitise their hands before and after jobs, as well as take extra care in cleaning up their work sites. To provide additional assurance to the public and its workers, NetLink Trust will require its workers to wear face shields where practical, in addition to face masks.”
IMDA advises Households and businesses to take the usual precautions when workers are in their premises, such as maintaining safe distance and minimising interaction time.
IMDA added that the ongoing restrictions on foreign workers, including a mandatory 14-day Stay Home Order applied to construction sector workers, will significantly constrain NetLink Trust’s capacity to fulfil service requests.
Customers should expect a longer waiting time for their orders to be fulfilled. NetLink Trust will prioritise homes currently without broadband access and those that require urgent fault repairs.
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