342 workers from Space@Tuas dormitory moved to quarantine facility after new COVID-19 case

342 workers from Space@Tuas dormitory moved to quarantine facility after new COVID-19 case

Space @ Tuas Apartment
View of Space @ Tuas Apartment. 

SINGAPORE: A total of 342 workers living at Space@Tuas dormitory have been moved to a government quarantine facility after a new COVID-19 case was recently detected, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Thursday (Oct 1).

The case was confirmed on Monday and detected through rostered routine testing.

Safe living measures were "not strictly enforced" in the affected block where the case lived, said MOM. 

"As such, 342 residents, who work for 27 employers, living in the affected block were deemed at risk and needed to be quarantined," the ministry added.

READ: New COVID-19 cases at dormitories detected by routine testing is 'part of the plan', says Josephine Teo

Stay-home notices were earlier issued to workers staying at the two blocks at Space@Tuas dormitory, after a preliminary assessment indicated that physical segregation measures to prevent intermixing across the two blocks "could have been breached", MOM said.

"Upon further investigation, it was established that it was unlikely for workers from different blocks to have intermixed," said MOM. "The stay-home notice for the unaffected block was therefore rescinded."

In response to CNA's queries, dorm operator TS Group said there are currently about 540 workers living at Space@Tuas Apartment. 

"TS Group is now working closely with relevant authorities to ensure workers adhere to the safe management measures in the dormitory," said a spokesperson.

MOM urged all dormitory operators, employers and workers to comply with strict safe living measures within the dormitories.

Dormitory operators must ensure that the measures remain effective, while workers must comply with the measures and remain within their respective residential zones, said the ministry. 

This is so that if there is a COVID-19 case, only affected workers living in the same level or section, and not the entire block, need to be quarantined, it said.

Employers should also ensure that their workers consistently undergo the rostered routine testing, added MOM.

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Nearly 900 COVID-19 cases have been discovered at dormitories that were previously declared clear of COVID-19 by authorities, with new clusters forming at 21 dormitories.

The first new cluster was reported at Singapore’s largest dormitory, Sungei Tengah Lodge, on Aug 22.

As of Wednesday (Sep 30), more than 200 cases were linked to that cluster. The dormitory was previously declared clear of COVID-19 on Jul 21.

More than 130 cases have also been recorded at Avery Lodge Dormitory in just three weeks, after a new cluster was identified there on Sep 10. It was previously cleared of COVID-19 on Aug 10.

Westlite Toh Guan dormitory has seen 120 cases since a new cluster was discovered there less than a month ago on Sep 3.

It was one of the first dormitories in Singapore to be gazetted as an isolation area under the Infectious Diseases Act (Apr 5), before it was declared clear of COVID-19 on Aug 14.

Other dormitories that were previously declared cleared of COVID-19 that have seen new clusters include the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, CDPL Tuas Dormitory, and Tuas View Dormitory.

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Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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