Coronavirus: Situation in dorms better but will take a few more months to resolve, says PM Lee

Migrant workers look out of the Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory on May 1, 2020. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The Covid-19 situation in migrant worker dormitories is improving but will take a few more months to resolve, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post yesterday, while thanking the inter-agency task force handling the issue for their hard work.

PM Lee said he met different teams in the task force to discuss the work they have done, what steps can be taken next and what can be improved on.

"We have come a long way, and the migrant workers are now starting to go back to work.

"Helping our migrant workers has demanded a multi-faceted approach, with teams from many agencies working together. They have deployed both high tech and the personal touch, and put in enormous efforts to tackle the problem," he said.

Migrant workers residing in dormitories have formed the bulk of Singapore's more than 39,000 Covid-19 cases, but the situation has since stabilised with the number of daily cases having fallen from its peak.

In response to the rising number of cases, the Government set up the inter-agency task force in April, which is chaired by Permanent Secretary for Manpower Aubeck Kam.

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean was appointed as an adviser to the task force.

PM Lee noted yesterday, however, that it will still take time to solve the problem.

"It will take us a few more months to resolve the dorms issue. We have kept things under control, and will progressively bring things back up and running again."

The Manpower Ministry said on Wednesday that some 5,500 migrant workers from 40 dormitories here had been cleared to resume work from the day before, following completion of necessary preparations.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2020, with the headline Coronavirus: Situation in dorms better but will take a few more months to resolve, says PM Lee. Subscribe