HDB contractors to temporarily house migrant workers at unused car parks, void decks

HDB contractors to temporarily house migrant workers at unused car parks, void decks

migrant workers lodgings in car park
Screenshots from a video showing migrant workers living at a car park. 

SINGAPORE: Healthy migrant workers employed by Housing Board contractors will be temporarily housed at unused void decks and multi-storey car parks of sites where projects are under construction, HDB said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Apr 11).

"These are completed structures that are safe and liveable," the agency said. "This will help to improve safe distancing by spreading out our workers, who are today living in workers’ quarters on site."

There have been concerns about the increase of COVID-19 cases at tightly packed migrant worker dormitories, with more than 500 cases found at more than 10 such facilities as of Friday.

Authorities have announced plans to move healthy workers to places such as military camps, vacant HDB flats and floating hotels.

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HDB's post came after a video of makeshift workers quarters in what looked like a car park was widely shared on social media.

The agency said workers will be staying within the sites, and only designated workers are allowed to leave to buy essentials from nearby grocery stores,

It stressed that all premises are checked to ensure that they are airy and comfortable, with conveniences such as toilets, charging points and Wi-Fi. 

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"We have also catered meals for the workers according to their dietary requirements," it said.

"Safe distancing measures, such as no visitation to other levels and temperature screening twice a day, have been put in place."

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in a Facebook post that the video of the makeshift worker accommodation was shared with her.

"Thank you all for your concern. It was indeed disturbing," she wrote. "The workers’ well-being is the priority here."

She referred to HDB's post which "explains the steps taken to support the workers at these temporary dorms".

Mrs Teo added: "The MOM team is fighting the battle on many fronts ... My team is stretched to the limit. Please bear with us if we take some time to respond to all of your queries, as we give priority to calls for help by vulnerable individuals."

In a separate update on Saturday, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said two floating accommodations to temporarily house healthy foreign workers have been bought in.

Meals will be catered and a medical facility, manned by nurses and doctors from Fullerton Healthcare, will be set up nearby on land. Isolation facilities will also be set up.

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Source: CNA/hm

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