11 residents at Westlite Woodlands dormitory test positive for COVID-19

11 residents at Westlite Woodlands dormitory test positive for COVID-19

Westlite Woodlands Dormitory (9)
View of Westlite Woodlands Dormitory on Apr 22, 2021. (Photo: Chew Hui Min)

SINGAPORE: Eleven workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Westlite Woodlands dormitory on Wednesday (Apr 21) - the largest number of infections in the migrant worker dormitories in months.

One of the infected workers is the roommate of Case 62181, a worker who tested positive on Apr 19 after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). 

Close contacts of Case 62181 had all been placed under quarantine. His roommate who tested positive was detected while under quarantine at a dedicated facility, said the ministry.

In addition, all residents at Westlite Woodlands dormitory were tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure. 

Eleven of them tested positive. The 11 are workers who had recovered from COVID-19, according to Westlite Woodlands dormitory in a letter to its clients that was seen by CNA.

"These cases were immediately isolated and conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) to investigate for possible re-infection," said MOM.

READ: Dormitory resident who completed full COVID-19 vaccination regimen among 14 new cases in Singapore

In the letter, Westlite Woodlands said that the infected workers were detected through results from 568 tests carried out on Tuesday for residents from levels two to seven of Block A of the dormitory.

"These 11 COVID-19 positive residents are recovered workers, and are in addition to the one resident who had been vaccinated and subsequently reported positive on 19th April 2021 (Monday) from rostered routine testing," said the letter signed by the dormitory's manager.

The infected workers are being taken to the hospital or to a community care facility, said the letter.

It added that as a precautionary measure, all the residents from the block, which number more than 1,100, will be taken to a government quarantine facility (GQF) for 14 days.

"These residents will be recalled from work today and required to stay in their units at all times until they are decanted from the dormitory to GQF," said the letter, dated Apr 21.

"Employers need to arrange for meals to be delivered to their employees during this period of time until they are decanted to GQF."

Swab tests will also be conducted on all the remaining residents in Block B of the dormitory.

Westlite Woodlands Dormitory (7)
View of Westlite Woodlands Dormitory on Apr 22, 2021. (Photo: Chew Hui Min)

On Thursday, 10 buses were seen arriving at the dormitory, located at 2 Woodlands Sector 2, at about 11am. The drivers were dressed in personal protective equipment. 

Two ambulances were also seen entering the premises. 

Ambulance outside Westlite Woodlands dormitory (1)
An ambulance entering Westlite Woodlands dormitory on Apr 22, 2021. (Photo: Chew Hui Min)

Westlite Woodlands Dormitory (6)
A police vehicle is seen outside Westlite Woodlands Dormitory on Apr 22, 2021. (Photo: Chew Hui Min)

The 11 dormitory cases did not appear in the Ministry of Health's case count on Wednesday, which said that there was one new community COVID-19 infection and 14 imported cases.

Case 62181, the worker who tested positive on Apr 19 after his second dose of vaccination, had been identified as a 35-year-old Bangladeshi.

He is a construction supervisor who works at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard and is employed by Prosper Environmental & Engineering.

He had received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine a week earlier but was likely to have been infected before he could build up immunity, the Health Ministry had said earlier.

EARLIER CLUSTER AT WESTLITE WOODLANDS

Westlite Woodlands dormitory first reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases in April last year

That was when the coronavirus cases in the dormitories began to rise sharply, leading to lockdowns at many dormitories.

MOH said on Oct 11 last year that the Westlite Woodlands cluster was closed after no new cases were found there for 28 days.

There have been more than 54,000 COVID-19 cases detected in migrant worker dormitories since the start of the pandemic.

Although the numbers peaked in the middle of last year, cases in the dormitories have fallen dramatically and before Wednesday, there were only seven cases reported since Jan 1 this year.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 60,880 COVID-19 cases and 30 fatalities from the disease.

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Source: CNA/hm

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