More Covid-19 cases among migrant workers expected as more from higher-risk dorms are tested

More than 215,000 workers have been tested and cleared so far. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - More Covid-19 cases could arise among migrant workers in dormitories over the next few days because more will be tested after completing their isolation period, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (July 14).

Some of the workers come from dormitories with a higher prevalence of Covid-19, which is expected to lead to increased case numbers, it added.

More than 215,000 workers have been tested and cleared so far - comprising around two-thirds of those living in dorms, MOH noted.

These workers have either recovered from Covid-19 or were found be free of infection.

Singapore is on track to clear about 80 per cent of workers in dorms by the end of this month and for all to be tested by the middle of next month.

"Work is ongoing to prepare these dormitories to be declared cleared, and for workers to resume work," MOH said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday that 193 more dorms have been cleared, bringing the total to 818.

They included Mandai Lodge, the eighth purpose-built dorm (PBD) to have all its blocks fully cleared of the coronavirus.

Three of its blocks are among the 19 cleared as of Tuesday to house recovered workers in eight dorms. It brings the total number of such blocks cleared to 59.

Officials have also cleared 170 factory-converted dormitories and 22 construction temporary quarters.

Some cleared workers are waiting to be moved to appropriate accommodation before they can resume work.

Others will be able to start their jobs once the three steps required by MOM to minimise the risk of new infections have been put in place.

Dorm operators must first arrange staggered pick-up and drop-off times for workers with their employers.

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Employers must also confirm or update the residential addresses of staff on the MOM database.

And third, workers must download the TraceTogether app to facilitate contact tracing and the FWMOMCare mobile app to update their health status and residence. These details must match their employers' and dormitory operators' records.

Most of the dormitories completed these steps in a week or less, said the MOM.

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