Parliament: More than 32,000 healthy foreign workers moved into temporary accommodation

About half of some 30,000 infected migrant workers living in dormitories have recovered as of end-May.
About half of some 30,000 infected migrant workers living in dormitories have recovered as of end-May.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - More than 32,000 healthy foreign workers have moved into temporary accommodation in sports halls, vacant Housing Board blocks and army camps, provided by the Government in a move to curb Covid-19 transmission in the dormitories.

Those who need medical care after they are relocated will be sent to medical posts, clinics or hospitals in the vicinity, depending on their condition, Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad told Parliament on Thursday (June 4).

Workers who are being tested for Covid-19 will be housed in a swab isolation facility until their test results are known.

"If they are tested positive for Covid-19, (then) they will be transferred to the appropriate care facility," he added.

Mr Zaqy was responding to Mr Christopher De Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) who asked whether isolation, quarantine and care arrangements will be available for workers who had moved into temporary accommodations.

Mr Zaqy also assured Mr De Souza that workers who are infected with Covid-19 will be taken care of as well.

He said: "Regardless of where infected workers are housed, all migrant workers living in dormitories have access to medical care and attention."

About half of some 30,000 infected migrant workers living in dormitories had recovered as of end-May, Mr Zaqy said.

The vast majority of the remaining infected workers are recovering well, with only one in intensive care, he added.

A 51-year-old man from China, who had been working in Singapore for almost 20 years, died on Sunday from complications owing to Covid-19.

Workers' Party Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Manpower Ministry whether foreign workers returning from overseas and foreign workers who were served with stay-home notices must stay in quarantine facilities since February.

 
 
 
 

He also wanted to know if foreign workers had served out their stay-home notices, leave of absence or quarantine orders in their dormitory rooms.

Mr Zaqy said that the ministry had informed licensed dormitories to set aside isolation facilities since Jan 29. Checks had been conducted to ensure compliance, he added.

"For dormitories with limited transmission, close contacts of infected workers continue to be sent to government quarantine facilities or community care facilities in centralised locations," he added.

"Spaces within (other) dormitories were reconfigured to house workers suspected or confirmed to be infected, separately from others. This may or may not have been in the workers' original (dorm) rooms."