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COVID-19: Former Qiaonan Primary School site in Tampines housing healthy foreign workers in essential services

COVID-19: Former Qiaonan Primary School site in Tampines housing healthy foreign workers in essential services

Google Street View of the former Qiaonan Primary School.

SINGAPORE: The former Qiaonan Primary School site has been refurbished to house foreign workers in essential services, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said on Friday (May 29).

The site at 15 Tampines Street 11 can accommodate about 500 people and has recently started to receive workers, a SLA spokesperson said. 

Moving healthy foreign workers to temporary facilities has been part of the Government’s strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Inside the former Qiaonan Primary School, which has been used to house healthy foreign workers in essential services. (Photo: Singapore Land Authority).

In April, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that migrant workers who were not sick and were working in essential services would be housed separately from those in dormitories.

Military camps, Changi Exhibition Centre, vacant HDB flats and offshore floating lodging were among the sites selected as potential living quarters. 

Some vacant state properties - based on their existing infrastructure and size - have been identified as suitable options as well, according to the SLA spokesperson. 

READ: ‘Dedicated strategy’ to break COVID-19 spread in dormitories, including housing healthy workers in army camps

READ: Inside the SuperStar Gemini cruise ship for foreign workers who've recovered from COVID-19

The spokesperson said that "all necessary measures" have been put in place for the safety of the workers moving into the Tampines sites and for the community.

“The site is gated, with controlled access and security patrol," the authority's spokesperson said.

"On-site amenities including a minimart for workers to purchase necessities and meals will be provided for the well-being of the workers."

The workers will have to observe safe distancing measures when staying within the former school site at all times and only leave the facility for work using transport arranged by their employers, the spokesperson added. 

Inside the temporary facility. SLA said that there is a minimart on-site for workers to purchase necessities, while meals will be provided to the workers. (Photo: Singapore Land Authority).

In 2014, Qiaonan Primary School closed and merged with Griffiths Primary School to form Angsana Primary School the following year. 

Other former school sites used to house healthy foreign workers include the former Hong Kah Secondary School and Bedok North Secondary School, according to a Ministry of Education response to CNA last week. 

READ: COVID-19: Former Chancery Court site to house healthy foreign workers

SLA had also announced earlier in May that the former Ngee Ann Polytechnic staff apartments at 90, 92 and 94 Kismis Avenue and the former Nexus International School at 201 Ulu Pandan Road would take in healthy migrant workers in essential services.

The two sites have a capacity of up to 1,000 beds each. 

Google Street View of the former Nexus International School.

The former Chancery Court condominium at 36 Dunearn Road is another place where healthy foreign workers in essential services are currently staying. It can hold up to 1,200 workers. 

On Friday, Singapore reported 611 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country's total number of infections to 33,860. Most of the infections are linked to foreign workers living in dormitories. 

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Source: CNA/rp(mi)


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