COVID-19: 31 healthy foreign workers moved to floating accommodation at Tanjong Pagar Terminal

Floating accommodation at Tanjong Pagar Terminal. (PHOTO: Khaw Boon Wan/Facebook)
Floating accommodation at Tanjong Pagar Terminal. (PHOTO: Khaw Boon Wan/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — The first batch of 31 healthy foreign workers has moved into one of the three floating accommodations berthed at Tanjong Pagar Terminal, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Monday.

The move is part of Singapore’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The authorities announced last week that healthy workers would be separated from those who are infected or suspected to have the virus.

Apart from the floating accommodations, healthy workers would be placed at other activated sites including SAF military camps, the Changi Exhibition Centre, as well as vacant Housing Board blocks in Tanjong Pagar and Jurong.

More than 5,000 workers who are providing essential services have already been moved out of the dormitories, said authorities last Thursday.

About 1,300 healthy workers will be progressively relocated to the floating accommodations in batches over the next few weeks.

In a post on Facebook, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and the Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said on Sunday that each floating accommodation can hold a few hundred occupants and be suitably organised to achieve safe distancing. Meals can be prepared off-site and delivered to the cabins to minimise inter-mingling, he added.

The 31 workers have undergone health checks including swab tests and screening for fever or respiratory symptoms before moving in and will have access to round-the-clock medical assistance.

Each room will accommodate only two to three occupants, with sufficient space among workers for safe distancing.

All workers will undergo temperature checks twice a day. They may leave their rooms for at least an hour each day at staggered timings for scheduled activities on the open deck. Meals will be delivered directly to their rooms.

The occupants are issued care packs containing masks, thermometers, snacks and instant beverages. They have Wi-Fi access onboard and will each receive a SIM card for internet surfing and communication. Each room is also provided with a kettle and a cleaning kit.

Captain M Segar, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) of the MPA, said, “By relocating healthy workers to the floating accommodations, we aim to provide a safe environment for them from the spread of COVID-19. We recognise their efforts and contributions to Singapore, and will do our best to take care of their needs and well-being amid the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The efforts to separate the healthy and infected foreign workers come as the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections among workers living in dormitories and working at construction sites in Singapore continued to surge, with a total of 1,193 such cases as of Monday.

At least 19 COVID-19 clusters linked to foreign worker dormitories have been identified as of Monday, including the largest cluster at S11 Dormitory@Punggol, which is linked to 586 cases.

Eight such dorms have been gazetted as isolation areas, including the newly confirmed cluster at Acacia Lodge and Cochrane Lodge II.

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