COVID-19: 95 more foreign worker dormitories cleared

COVID-19: 95 more foreign worker dormitories cleared

FILE PHOTO: A migrant worker looks on from a swab isolation facility as he waits for his test resul
FILE PHOTO: A migrant worker looks on from a swab isolation facility as he waits for his test results at a dormitory, amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore May 15, 2020. (REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo)

SINGAPORE: Ninety-five more foreign worker dormitories have been cleared of COVID-19, taking the total number of dormitories cleared to 975, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a statement on Wednesday (Jul 29).

The newly cleared facilities include one purpose-built dormitory, 78 factory-converted dormitories and 16 construction temporary quarters, said the ministry.

In addition, 12 blocks for recovered workers in six purpose-built dormitories have been cleared, said the ministry.

One of these blocks for recovered workers is from Kian Teck Hostel, meaning that the  entire hostel has now been declared cleared of COVID-19, it added.

In all, 975 dormitories and 64 blocks for recovered workers in 17 purpose-built dormitories are cleared of COVID-19, MOM said.

In an update on the novel coronavirus situation in Singapore later on Wednesday night, the Ministry of Health said 24 clusters have been closed following the clearing of dormitories.

They are:

Closed clusters Jul 29, 2020
These dormitories have been cleared of COVID-19. (Image: Ministry of Health)

READ: Vast majority of foreign workers to be cleared of COVID-19 by early August: Lawrence Wong

The latest update comes after Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a press briefing last Friday that all dormitories would be cleared of COVID-19 by the end of the first week of August, with the exception of 17 standalone blocks in eight purpose-built dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities.

ABOUT 85% OF WORKERS RECOVERED, FREE FROM VIRUS

As of Tuesday, about 262,000 workers (approximately 85 per cent) have either recovered or been tested to be free from COVID-19, said the manpower ministry, up from the 247,000 reported last week.

Many of them are staying in cleared dormitories or blocks for recovered workers and can resume work once dormitory operators, employers and workers have made the necessary preparations to help minimise the risk of new infections, said the ministry.

Many dormitories complete the required steps "almost immediately", said MOM, with almost all completing them in a week or less.

WATCH: COVID-19: Migrant workers in dormitories worried about loss of income

MOM added that with more dormitories cleared of COVID-19, sector agencies are following up with companies, especially contractors, to get ready to resume work soon.

"The Forward Assurance and Support Teams are working closely with dormitory operators, employers and migrant workers to complete all the necessary steps and clear the remaining dormitories," said the ministry.

Singapore on Wednesday reported 334 new COVID-19 cases, the vast majority of whom are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.

This takes the country's total number of cases to 51,531.

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Source: CNA/kv(nc)

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