MOM: About 89% of migrant workers recovered or tested free from COVID-19

Migrant workers are seen resting at balcony after lunch time at the dormitories that houses foreign workers and has been made into an isolation area to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Singapore on April 22, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Migrant workers at the dormitories that houses foreign workers in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — About 273,000 migrant workers, constituting about 89 per cent of those living in worker dormitories, have either recovered or have been tested to be free from COVID-19 as of Monday (3 August).

In a media release on Tuesday, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that a total of 1,109 dormitories, as well as 52 blocks for recovered workers (BRWs) in 14 purpose-built dormitories (PBDs), have been cleared of COVID-19.

In the past week, 127 dormitories – comprising 114 factory-converted dormitories and 13 construction temporary quarters – have been cleared.

In addition, 35 BRWs in 12 PBDs have also been declared cleared of COVID-19. These include the remaining blocks in Jurong Penjuru 1, Homestay Lodge, PPT Lodge 1A, Alaunia Lodge and Tuas View Dormitory.

MOM said it expects all dormitories to be cleared by early this month, with the exception of 17 standalone blocks in eight PBDs which serve as quarantine facilities.

Block in Westlite Mandai dorm stays as quarantine facility

The ministry said that an additional block in Westlite Mandai dormitory will remain as a quarantine facility, arising from feedback from the dormitory operator that the residents did not stringently observe the quarantine requirements during the initial 14-day isolation period.

“Although many tested negative at the end of the isolation period, we share the operator’s concerns and assessed that it would be prudent to go through another round of isolation,” MOM said in the media release.

“The dormitory operator will communicate to the residents of this block to cooperate and observe the quarantine requirements, so that their block can be cleared without further delay.”

About 265,000 workers able to resume work

Most of the workers who have either recovered or tested to be free from COVID-19 are staying in cleared dormitories or BRWs. They can resume work once dormitory operators, employers and the workers themselves have made the necessary preparations to minimise the risk of new infections.

MOM said it has made progress in allowing more foreign workers to resume work over the past few weeks.

On 21 July, there were 186,000 foreign workers from the construction, marine shipyard and process industry sectors who were given “green” AccessCodes to allow them to resume daily work. The number of workers has increased by 42 per cent to 265,000 as of Tuesday.

Sector agencies are revising their restart criteria, so as to facilitate speedier attainment of “green” AccessCode, while maintaining safety.

Employers can check the AccessCode status of their workers on the Safe@Work eService, and can also refer to the MOM website for the latest list of cleared dormitories and dormitories to be cleared in the coming weeks.

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