COVID-19: Changi Exhibition Centre care facility takes more measures to manage queues after video of crowds

COVID-19: Changi Exhibition Centre care facility takes more measures to manage queues after video of crowds

Foreign workers at Changi Exhibition Hall isolation hall (1)
This screengrab shows migrant workers at the Changi Exhibition Hall isolation facility. (Image: Facebook/Joseph Nathan)

SINGAPORE: Enhanced measures to improve queue management have been implemented at the Changi Exhibition Centre community care facility for COVID-19 patients, after a video of large crowds was circulated on social media. 

Mandarin Oriental Singapore, which is the managing agent of the facility, said on Monday (May 18) that the video in question was taken more than a week ago, on May 10. 

"We can understand the concern that some have expressed about the occupants coming into close proximity with each other. As they are all COVID-19 positive, they do not pose risks to one another," the firm said in response to CNA's queries.

A copy of the video, shared by Facebook user Joseph Nathan, showed scores of people crowding in the hall. The video, which was first shared on Sunday, has since been viewed at least 10,000 times on Facebook and shared more than 500 times. 

Foreign workers at Changi Exhibition Hall isolation hall (2)
This screengrab shows migrant workers at the Changi Exhibition Hall isolation facility. (Image: Facebook/Joseph Nathan)

Mandarin Oriental said that the queues during the distribution of afternoon snacks were orderly, "except for this section of around 300 migrant workers".

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Ministry of Defence confirmed it was aware of the video.

The ministry also acknowledged Mandarin Oriental's clarification about the incident and said the "situation has improved significantly as a result of enhanced queue management measures".

The facility currently looks after more than 2,600 migrant workers who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

"We have nevertheless sought to work with the migrant workers on the need to maintain orderly queues, and enhanced measures to improve queue management by deploying more personnel and having volunteers among the migrant workers to assist with meal distribution and crowd management," Mandarin Oriental said. 

Staggered meal timings by sectors have also been implemented to reduce crowding at the meal collection area. 

"The situation has improved significantly and is generally stable," the company added.

READ: COVID-19: Behind the scenes at the Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility

Mandarin Oriental thanked people for supporting its frontline workers who have made personal sacrifices to care for COVID-19 patients. 

"We have been receiving donations such as snacks, clothes and blankets, and have benefited from volunteers who have been assisting us with translation work. We look forward to receiving such continued societal support as we battle COVID-19 as one united nation."

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Source: CNA/zl(mi)

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