MOM investigates claims about COVID-19 health breaches at a Jurong dormitory; riot police deployed
There were some delays in transferring COVID-19 positive migrant workers to recovery facilities, says the Ministry of Manpower.
SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has responded to claims about breaches of COVID-19 health protocols, a lack of access to medical support and poor quality of catered food at a dormitory at Jalan Tukang in Jurong.
On Wednesday (Oct 13), officers from MOM's Forward Assurance and Support Teams (FAST) were deployed to the dormitory to investigate the claims.
The Singapore Police Force also responded to a call for assistance at the dormitory at about 12.55pm, said the ministry.
The allegations were made in an online article published on Weixin on Tuesday, an MOM spokesperson said on Wednesday in response to CNA's queries.
Weixin is the domestic version of WeChat used in China.
"MOM's preliminary investigations found that there were indeed some delays in conveying workers who tested positive for COVID-19 from their rooms to a care or recovery facility to recover," it said.
The ministry said it was working on transferring those who need further medical care to healthcare facilities for treatment.
It added that roommates of positive cases were allowed to return to work upon producing a negative antigen rapid test result.
TELEMEDICINE AND MEALS
Describing conditions in the dormitory, MOM said that residents who wished to see a doctor were taken to a regional medical centre on a daily basis, and have access to telemedicine.
The ministry said it has also deployed mobile clinical teams on site to meet workers' care needs when necessary.
The workers' employer has provided them with three meals a day, said MOM. It added that it has highlighted workers' feedback on the quality of the catered food to the employer.
"The employer has since engaged the workers about the issue, and to find out if they have other concerns," said the ministry.
MOM said it would continue to work with all stakeholders, including dormitory operators and employers, to ensure the well-being of migrant workers.
"We also seek feedback from workers through the existing channels, such as through our FAST officers on-ground or through the dormitory operator," it said.
RIOT POLICE DEPLOYED
On Wednesday afternoon, police forces were deployed to Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory.
When CNA arrived at the migrant workers' dormitory at about 4pm, there was a heavy security presence, with four Special Operations Command vehicles and several other armoured police vehicles parked along the road outside.
Dozens of police officers were in protective gear, along with other officers in red berets.
Riot shields were seen leaning against barricades set up at the dormitory's entrance, which was being guarded by police personnel wearing personal protective equipment.
At about 5.50pm, the police in protective gear started to board armoured vehicles to leave the site.
A small supermarket located along the exterior of the dormitory, which had been closed, opened at about 6pm and workers were seen going in to make purchases.
Police officers were also seen carrying in plastic bags of food packets.