SINGAPORE: The real estate company behind the Seletar Aerospace Heights work sites linked to five cases of COVID-19 "immediately halted construction" after it was notified of the first confirmed case on Feb 9.
Boustead Projects confirmed in a media release on Tuesday (Feb 18) that the five Bangladeshi Work Pass holders - identified as Cases 42, 47, 52, 56 and 69 by the Ministry of Health (MOH) - are all workers under the company’s subcontractors.
They had worked at a project site at Seletar Aerospace Heights, where construction was ongoing to expand the Singapore Service Centre of Canadian aviation firm Bombardier.
The five workers are not known to have worked or entered the existing facility, the Bombardier Service Centre at 10 Seletar Aerospace Heights, and their activities were limited to the expansion sites at 8 and 12 Seletar Aerospace Heights, said Boustead in the release.
The company had previously confirmed on Feb 12 that three of its employees were under quarantine.
Some Boustead employees are still under quarantine orders, said a company spokesperson on Wednesday in response to CNA queries, but he declined to comment on the exact number of employees or subcontractors' workers under quarantine.
Construction was halted to conduct cleaning and disinfection of the development site and the existing facility as a precautionary measure, the company said.
After it was notified about the second confirmed case on Feb 11, Boustead collaborated with MOH to conduct further contract tracing and inspection of the development site.
Bombardier had said in an earlier statement to CNA that the patients had worked under a third-party contractor at its Singapore Service Centre expansion sites, and are are not employees of Bombardier.
Cases 42 and 47 had worked on different buildings on the expansion sites and never had access to the company's existing facility, a Bombardier spokesperson had said. No cases of the virus have been reported among employees at its service centre at 10 Seletar Aerospace Heights.
"The health and safety of our employees is always a top priority at Bombardier, and out of an abundance of caution, Bombardier continues to take the necessary steps to ensure its operations and employees remain safe," said the company’s spokesperson.
Before the first confirmed case linked to the construction site, Boustead had already put in place temperature screening measures and compulsory health and travel declarations at all of its project sites since Jan 28, it said.
When the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level was raised to Orange on Feb 7, Boustead took additional measures to stop mass activities at its office and project sites, it said in the release. It also compartmentalised the different construction trades at project sites to minimise contact.
“The company remains fully committed to working with the relevant authorities to ensure and prioritise the health, safety and well-being of its employees, subcontractors and their workers, clients and other stakeholders,” said the company.