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Efforts to Ensure Well-Being of Foreign Workers at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and Westlite Toh Guan


  1. On 5 April 2020, the Ministry of Health gazetted the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol (2 Seletar North Link) and Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory (18 Toh Guan Road East) as isolation areas. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is coordinating efforts to ensure that the needs and well-being of the foreign workers residing at both dormitories are well taken care of.
  2. Workers that had close contacts with the confirmed cases have already been separately quarantined.  MOH has also set up medical posts on-site to assess and treat workers who are unwell. They will be relocated and housed separately from their usual room-mates.
  3. MOM officers have also been working round-the-clock with the two dormitory operators and partners to prioritise the well-being of workers who remain healthy. This includes ensuring the timely supply of food and stepping up hygiene management as a result of extended hours of stay by the workers in the dormitories.
  4. We acknowledge the challenges at the start. We appreciate the workers’ patience and cooperation, and will continue to improve the conditions for the residents of the dormitories.

    ENSURING SUFFICIENT FOOD SUPPLY

  5. The workers had previously been able to cook their own meals. However, for the workers’ safety, we sought to minimise the risk of unknown transmissions through gathering at the common kitchens, and switched to using professional caterers to provide the meals. We experienced teething problems with the portions, suitability and distribution. These issues have been progressively resolved
  6. MOM has engaged multiple professional caterers to ensure that dormitory residents are receiving three proper meals a day. To date, the caterers have delivered over 65,000 portions of food and snacks. The caterers are also continuously adjusting their menu to cater to the dietary preferences of the residents. Our officers are working with the dormitory operators and caterers to further streamline the food distribution process to ensure that residents get their meals in a timely manner.

    STEPPING UP OF CLEANING WITHIN THE DORMITORIES

  7. The cleaning of the dormitories have also been intensified. 
  8. Both dormitory operators have ramped up cleaning routines within the dormitories, to cope with increased usage of washroom facilities, and higher volumes of trash generated. The operators have deployed more cleaners to maintain the cleanliness of the general areas as well as washroom facilities.
  9. At the same time, we have worked with the operators to encourage workers to play their part to keep the common areas clean. The operators will also ensure that premises such as the rooms and common areas are disinfected, and other sanitation such as clearance of trash are done more regularly.
  10. MOM will continue to keep a close eye on the dormitory conditions and will intervene where necessary to ensure standards are upheld. Our officers will also act on feedback provided by dormitory residents on possible areas of improvement. We appreciate the support of colleagues and ambassadors from the Migrant Workers’ Centre who have been on-site throughout this period and engaging the workers.
  11. The gazetting of dorms as isolation areas is an enormous undertaking. This was a major decision taken to protect the health and safety of the workers as well as the community.  They build on precautions that had been progressively implemented at foreign worker dormitories throughout Singapore since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. These include the closure of non-essential amenities such as gyms and libraries, prevention of inter-mingling between blocks and staggering of meal and recreation times.
  12. We seek the public’s understanding and patience as we work with the dormitory operators to resolve the ground challenges and ensure the workers’ well-being.

ANNEX

Annex A