Written Answer by Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng to PQ on rationale for having different safe management measures for vaccinated migrant workers living in dormitories and the rest of the population living outside of dormitories
NOTICE PAPER NO. 874 OF 2021 FOR THE SITTING ON 11 JANUARY 2022
QUESTION NO. 2206 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER TO QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER NOT ANSWERED BY END OF QUESTION TIME
MP: Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
To ask the Minister for Manpower what is the rationale for having different safe management measures for vaccinated migrant workers living in dormitories and the rest of the population living outside of dormitories.
1. Dormitories are communal settings where transmissions can occur rapidly. As such, dormitory residents are required to be tested more frequently than the general community. Today, dormitory residents undergo Fast and Easy Testing-Rostered Routine Testing (FET-RRT). We have implemented Safe Living Measures (SLM), Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) audits and lower capacity numbers in recreation centres as well as controlled numbers for community visits to dampen the risk and speed of transmission, both within the dormitories and cross-transmission between the community and dormitories. For example, mid-last year, community cases were more numerous than dormitory cases, and there was the risk of cross-transmission from the community to the dormitories.
2. Reducing and managing transmission risk will ultimately help to safeguard the migrant workers’ health and reduce disruption to their ability to
work. Many migrant workers have told us that they are concerned about not being able to work if they test positive and need to be isolated.
3. We have progressively eased the restrictions over time. Migrant workers living in dormitories may visit recreation centres daily, and up to 3,000 vaccinated migrant workers may visit the community on weekdays and up to 6,000 on weekends and public holidays. In addition, we are working with community partners, like Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), grassroots organisations, schools and employers to plan and organise regular events and activities for workers in and out of the dormitories. We will continue to monitor the situation and ease restrictions when appropriate.