All remaining quarantine facilities in migrant worker dormitories cleared of COVID-19: MOM
SINGAPORE: All dormitories have been declared cleared of COVID-19 as of Wednesday (Aug 19), including the standalone blocks in purpose-built dormitories serving as isolation or quarantine facilities.
All residents in the standalone blocks have either completed their isolation or quarantine, or been moved to other government facilities depending on their health status, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a press release.
About 86 per cent of foreign workers in the construction, marine and process sectors have been allowed to resume work, up from the 81 per cent announced last week.
These are workers who have received the Green AccessCode indicating that they can return to their jobs.
READ: From manhole to sampling bottle: How wastewater helps indicate presence of COVID-19 in foreign worker dormitories
“We expect the recently cleared dormitories to soon complete all the necessary preparations, with an additional 20,000 residents expected to have Green AccessCode," said MOM.
"Half of these residents currently have Red AccessCode as their addresses are not updated. Reminders will be sent to dormitory operators and employers to update workers’ addresses accordingly."
Moving forward, MOM said it expects that there will always be a proportion of workers who have a Red AccessCode. This is due to several reasons such as a worker recently testing positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing treatment, or if the worker is a close contact of a positive case and placed under quarantine.
Workers may also have a Red AccessCode if they are placed on precautionary quarantine while authorities establish their exposure to a positive case, if they no longer have the TraceTogether app installed on their mobile device, or if they are required to undergo rostered routine testing (RRT) but did not do so.
READ: COVID-19: New migrant worker dorms step in the right direction, say support groups - but could more be done?
“These occurrences are part of the overall system of ensuring compliance with RRT, and that any cases detected are contained, with contacts traced and the block or level of the dormitory isolated,” said MOM.
Rostered routine testing is among the measures authorities are taking to prevent a second wave of infections in cleared dormitories.
More than 100,000 migrant workers have started this routine testing, which is conducted biweekly, said MOM and the Ministry of Health on Tuesday in response to CNA's queries.
READ: More wastewater testing under way in Singapore to tackle COVID-19; pilot launched at foreign worker dormitories
Other measures include grouping migrant workers in dormitories according to the type of industries they work in, implementing safe distancing measures and conducting contact tracing once a new case is detected.
"Sector agencies will work closely with the employers to assess the risk at the workplaces and put in place safety timeouts if necessary," said MOM, adding that "aggressive testing operations" will also be conducted when a new case is detected.