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Actions Taken By The Ministry of Manpower Following Confirmed COVID-19 Case of Work Permit Holder

  1. As announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 9 February 2020, one of the new cases confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a 39 year-old Bangladeshi work permit holder.
  2. Preliminary checks by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) indicated that the employer of the worker had acted responsibly in helping their workers take precautionary measures against infection. They regularly disseminated information from the various government advisories to their workers, and encouraged them to maintain good personal hygiene. When the worker reported feeling unwell, they acted promptly to enable him to seek medical attention and kept him away from the workplace when he was on medical leave. 
  3. Based on the information given by MOH, the Bangladeshi worker stayed in his room most of the time and his movement history was limited to his dormitory room and worksite.  Measures have been taken to ensure that all who were in close contact with the worker have been quarantined. Over the past two days, MOH has issued Quarantine Orders to 19 people in total, including the worker’s 10 roommates, 8 people who took the same company transport as him, and a project manager at the worksite. While further contact tracing is on-going, MOH has assessed that the risk to the general population of residents in the dormitory is low.   
  4. Under MOM’s instructions, the dormitory operator has disinfected the premises based on NEA’s guidelines for environmental cleaning and disinfection of areas exposed to confirm cases of COVID-19 in non-healthcare commercial premises.
  5. The Leo dormitory was last inspected by MOM on 27 September 2019, and its hygiene and living conditions were satisfactory. MOM revisited the dormitory again on 30 January and 10 February 2020 and observed that the cleaning of common areas has been stepped up from once daily to twice daily.

    REPORTS OF WORKERS BEING TURNED AWAY FROM WORKSITES

  6. On 10 February, MOM received reports of main contractors turning away workers who are residents of The Leo dormitory from their worksites due to fears of infection. MOM and MOH met with the Singapore Contractors Association Limited, the main contractors, and the dormitory operators on the same day to clarify that those who had close contact with the infected worker have been quarantined. MOM and MOH also gave assurance that the risk of transmission through casual contact is low and there is no need to turn away workers.
  7. In addition, MOM checked with the other dormitories and determined that their residents could go to work as usual.