30 more migrant worker dormitories cleared of COVID-19 infections

30 more migrant worker dormitories cleared of COVID-19 infections

FILE PHOTO: Migrant workers look out of windows in a dormitory, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID
Migrant workers look out of windows in a dormitory, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore, May 15, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Thirty more migrant worker dormitories have been declared clear of COVID-19 infections, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Wednesday (Jun 10).

These comprise one purpose-built dormitory, as well as 29 factory-converted dormitories and construction temporary quarters. 

"Additionally, 14 blocks of recovered workers in eight purpose-built dormitories have been cleared," said MOM, adding that these facilities and dormitory blocks house about 8,400 workers.

There are now 90 dormitories declared clear of the coronavirus, after the first batch of 60 was announced earlier this month. 

READ: COVID-19: Singapore to build new dormitories with improved living standards for migrant workers

Of the 60, 40 dormitories have completed the necessary preparations, allowing some of the 5,500 residents to resume work, said MOM. 

These preparations include arranging for staggered pick-up and drop-off timings with employers, and having employers confirming or updating the residential addresses of their workers on MOM’s database.

Additionally, all workers have downloaded the TraceTogether mobile app for contact tracing and the new FWMONCare mobile app to record their health status and residential address.

Dedicated multi-agency teams are working to assist the remaining 20 dormitories in completing the necessary requirements, said the ministry.

READ: Migrant workers in dormitories cleared of COVID-19 to have staggered rest days with time limit during Phase 2

READ: COVID-19: New migrant worker dorms step in the right direction, say support groups - but could more be done?

MOM also addressed issues faced by some employers and workers when using the AccessCode feature on the new SGWorkPass mobile app.

The feature helps employers track which workers can leave their residence for work. 

They can only leave for work if their access code is green. A grey status means the access code does not apply, while red indicates that they are not allowed to leave for work. 

For workers whose SGWorkPass shows a red status, even though they have been permitted to work, it is mainly to to address errors, said MOM. 

"Employers will need to update the workers’ residential address through MOM’s online systems. It will take about one to two days for the AccessCode to be updated," said the ministry

READ: Employers, operators and NGOs step up for workers cooped up in factory-converted dormitories

Most of Singapore's COVID-19 cases have involved migrant workers. 

Following the outbreak, the Government will build new foreign worker dormitories, as well as refit unused state properties as part of plans to reduce the current density in dormitories and improve living conditions.

By the end of this year, there will be additional space to house about 60,000 workers.

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Source: CNA/ta(gs)

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