SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has gazetted Cochrane Lodge II as the eighth foreign worker dormitory to be an isolation area in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As of Sunday noon, there are 17 COVID-19 cases linked to the dorm.
In an online notice on the Government Gazette late Sunday night (12 April), the MOH said that Blocks A to E at Cochrane Lodge II, located at 49 Admiralty Road West, will be isolated from Monday under the Infectious Diseases Act.
This means that workers residing there must not leave their rooms for 14 days.
The other seven isolated dorms are the S11 Dormitory@Punggol, Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory, Toh Guan Dormitory, Sungei Tengah Lodge, Tampines Dormitory, Cochrane Lodge I and Acacia Lodge.
At least 17 clusters linked to foreign worker dormitories have been identified thus far, including the largest cluster at S11 Dormitory@Punggol linked to 365 cases.
Other dorms that have been identified as active clusters include Kranji Lodge, a dormitory at 55 Sungei Kadut Loop, a dormitory at 31 Sungei Kadut Avenue, Shaw Lodge, Westlite Woodlands Dormitory, North Coast Lodge and Cassia@Penjuru.
National Development and COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong commented on Facebook on Sunday about the latest MOH data, noting that “the number of work permit and dormitory-related cases has increased sharply, and this is likely to continue going up, especially as we undertake more aggressive testing of workers at the dormitories”.
On the other hand, while the number of imported cases rose around mid-March due to a large number of returnees then, it has since come down to zero, he added.
“The number of cases in the community increased following the wave of imported cases. But there has been some moderation in recent days, in light of the safe distancing measures that have been put in place,” Wong said.
“We will only see the full effects of the circuit breaker in the next one to two weeks. So let's press on with our efforts to stay home, minimise contact with others, and break the transmission chain in our community.”
There are some 200,000 workers spread across all 43 foreign worker dorms here.
Workers who are healthy would be separated from those who are infected or suspected to have the virus. They are to be placed at activated sites, such as SAF military camps, the Changi Exhibition Centre, floating hotels, or floatels, that are typically used for offshore accommodation, as well as vacant Housing Board blocks in Tanjong Pagar and Jurong.
More than 5,000 healthy workers who are providing essential services have already been moved out of the dorms.
To date, Singapore has reported 2,532 cases of the virus, of which 560 have recovered and eight have died. On Sunday, seven more active clusters were identified, including a number of foreign worker dorms.
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