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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for Manpower to PQ on the Arrangements to Ensure Workers Subjected to Stay-Home Notices are Effectively Segregated in Dormitories

NOTICE PAPER NO. 2024 OF 2020 FOR SITTING ON 4 MARCH

QUESTION NO. 1649 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

NCMP: Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) how many of the 30,000 or so Chinese workers returning to work in Singapore are in dormitory accommodation; and (b) what arrangements are in place to ensure that workers who are subject to Stay-Home Notices are effectively segregated from other workers who are not subject to the Notice, be it in their assigned rooms or in the use of common facilities in the dormitories such as bathrooms, canteens, shops, or recreational or open areas.

Answer

  1. A big majority of the Chinese work pass holders who travelled to China over the new year period have yet to return to Singapore. This is because of MOM’s strict requirement for their employers to seek prior approval, to ensure an orderly flow and enable effective enforcement of the Stay-Home Notices (SHN) upon arrival. An average of 220 applications have been approved daily. Upon their return, all the workers are expected to serve the SHN. Those found to have wilfully flouted the SHN have had their work passes revoked and permanently banned from working in Singapore. Employers who were non-compliant have also had their work pass privileges suspended.
  2. Among those who have not returned, an estimated 25% stay in HDB units while 75% stay in other accommodation including dormitories and private residences.
  3. In line with the advice from the public health professionals, persons who are on SHN need not be segregated. Nevertheless, MOM informed dormitory operators to take additional precautionary measures to minimise contact between persons on SHN and their other residents. Residents on SHN would thus reside in a section of the dormitory that is separate from the other residents. Food and daily necessities are provided so that there is no need for them to leave their room, except to seek medical attention. 
  4. Apart from specific measures for residents on SHN, MOM has also advised dormitory operators to cease mass activities, stagger the use of common facilities, and manage residents who have mild flu-like symptoms by isolating them and seeking medical attention immediately.