Some staff members at Lee Ah Mooi evicted by landlords, says nursing home hit by COVID-19

Some staff members at Lee Ah Mooi evicted by landlords, says nursing home hit by COVID-19

Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home 6
The Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home which is closed to visitors till Apr 30 after a cluster of 11 cases of COVID-19 were found there. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Some staff members from Lee Ah Mooi nursing home, which has a cluster of COVID-19 cases, were evicted by their landlords out of fear that they may carry the virus, the home has said.

"While we have provided temporary accommodation for our affected staff, they are not sheltered from the discrimination from people they care about," it said in a statement on Facebook on Friday.

"It inevitably affects their mental well-being in fighting this long drawn out battle."

When asked for more details, the home declined to comment further.

In February, authorities had said that landlords who evict tenants who are on home quarantine orders or leave of absence may be penalised.

READ: Singapore reports 198 new COVID-19 cases; second death from Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home cluster

It added in the social post that their workers are doing shifts of up to 12 hours a day, in full personal protective equipment.

"It gets tough in the afternoons when it is warm. Yet they remain professional, positive and even engage in conversations with our residents to keep their spirits up," said the home's administrator Then Kim Yuan.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health reported a seventh death due to complications from COVID-19. The 86-year-old Singaporean woman, known as Case 987, was a resident of the home, located at Thomson Lane. 

She is the second Lee Ah Mooi resident to have died after contracting the coronavirus. There were 16 cases in the cluster at the home, including a 102-year-old woman.

READ: 102-year-old woman among those infected with COVID-19 at Lee Ah Mooi nursing home

Mr Then also asked interested donors to reroute donations of hand sanitisers, face masks and disinfectants to migrant workers, with cases in that community rising in recent weeks. 

"We are fortunate that we have our own supply and help from the Ministry of Health and Agency for Integrated Care," he said.

Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home was started by Mr Then's grandmother, a nurse, in the 1960s. It caters to the "sandwiched class" - people who cannot afford private care but do not qualify for government support.

READ: Visitors barred from nursing homes until Apr 30 after COVID-19 cases detected in old age home

Various precautions have been taken at the home since coronavirus cases were detected there and visits are no longer allowed.

"Anxiety is very real for our residents’ family when they think they are unable to be at the Home in person to provide kindred support. It is a priority for us to ensure that our communication to them are transparent, detailed, personalised, and up-to-date," Mr Then added.

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Source: CNA/hm

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