SINGAPORE - The Manpower Ministry is working with caterers to improve the quality of meals provided to the quarantined foreign workers as it continues efforts to improve the conditions at the three dormitories which have been set as isolation areas.
On Wednesday (April 8) the ministry said it has been working with multiple caterers to ensure timeliness and quality of meals distributed to the almost 25,000 workers housed in the three affected dorms; S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Westlite in Toh Guan and the Toh Guan Dormitory.
Foreign workers' dorms have become a growing area of concern amid the Covid-19 outbreak that has seen these densely populated residences become major infection clusters.
The S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and Westlite in Toh Guan were gazetted as isolation areas on Sunday, and the Toh Guan Dormitory was gazetted on Monday.
This means workers who reside at these dorms will be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.
The ministry has been distributing food to the quarantined workers, and said it has taken into account their feedback and increased the meal portions.
It noted that caterers have delivered 233,000 portions of meals and snacks and will continue to make adjustments to the menus to suit the dietary preferences of the residents.
"Meal distribution routines have improved significantly over the past three days. On average, every meal distribution exercise is now completed within two hours, across all three dormitories," said the ministry.
The Straits Times had earlier reported on Monday about the crowded and unsanitary conditions at the S11 site, where workers said rooms were infested with cockroaches, rubbish was piling up and toilets were overflowing.
MOM said conditions at the three dormitories continue to improve.
It also formed an inter-agency taskforce which helps to take care of the well-being of the foreign workers residing at the three dormitories.
The residents now spend the entire day in the dormitories, said the ministry and measures have been put in place to cater to this.
"To cope with the increased usage of washroom facilities and higher volumes of trash generated, dormitory operators continued to step up on waste management and sanitation regimes. This has resulted in improved hygiene conditions," said the ministry, adding that these enhanced measures are being carried out at all three gazetted dorms.
The frequency of refuse collection and disposal has also been further increased from once to three or four times daily, depending on the premises, it added.
Disinfection and cleaning of the common areas and washroom facilities are being carried out three times per day.
Its officers on the ground will continue to ensure that the highest standards are upheld and also act on feedback given by dormitory residents on possible areas of improvement, added the ministry.