Coronavirus: Construction of more foreign worker dorms being speeded up at Changi East, says Khaw

In future, the new dorms will house workers building Changi Airport's Terminal 5. PHOTO: KHAW BOON WAN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - More worker dormitories are being built and given top attention to meet evolving isolation requirements and alleviate overcrowding in existing dormitories, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post on Sunday (April 19).

Construction of more foreign worker dormitories in Changi East is being accelerated to help relieve the crowding in existing foreign workers dormitories, he said.

In future, the new dormitories will house workers building Changi Airport's Terminal 5.

Meanwhile, the three existing dormitories in Changi East have been renovated and other buildings on the site have been fitted out to meet the enhanced medical and isolation requirements for foreign workers, he said.

Photos accompanying Mr Khaw's post showed what appeared to be prefabricated dormitories being built, with double-decker bunk beds inside.

There also appeared to be a gym for workers, with a cross-trainer and free weights.

There are now more than 2,900 beds, and any foreign worker with fever symptoms can access on-site medical attention, swabbing and isolation facilities, Mr Khaw said.

In an announcement on Saturday, the Manpower Ministry said all work permit and S Pass holders in the construction industry will be on 14-day stay-home notices (SHN) from Monday to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus at work sites.

This is due to the high rate of infections coming from the construction sector, with work site transmissions a contributing factor.

Most construction projects have been suspended, Mr Khaw said, but added that "some urgent projects", such as the construction of the third runway at Changi, have been exempted.

He revealed that workers in the Changi East site are under strict block-to-block and floor-to-floor separation with colour-coded wristbands.

Food is being catered for the workers as cooking and dining facilities have been closed, while "strict social distancing" is being observed by workers during construction.

There are also on-site physical remittance services.

"I know our foreign workers are appreciative of the efforts. They know that they are safer in Singapore now than elsewhere, even at home," Mr Khaw wrote.

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