All remaining quarantine facilities in purpose-built dorms cleared of Covid-19: MOM

SINGAPORE – All dormitories have been declared cleared of Covid-19 as of Wednesday (Aug 19), including the standalone blocks in purpose-built dormitories that served as isolation or quarantine facilities.

“All residents in the standalone blocks have either completed their isolation or quarantine, or been moved to other government facilities depending on their health status,” said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Around 333,000 workers – or 86 per cent – in the construction, marine and process sectors have been allowed to resume work. This is up from the 81 per cent announced last week.

These workers have been given the Green AccessCode, which allows them to resume work.

The ministry said it expects an additional 20,000 residents from recently cleared dormitories to have the Green AccessCode soon, after their dormitories have completed the necessary preparations.

“Half of these residents currently have Red AccessCode as their addresses are not updated. Reminders will be sent to dormitory operators and employers to update workers’ addresses accordingly,” it added.

Going forward, MOM said it expects that there will always be a proportion of workers who have a Red AccessCode, which precludes them from going to work.

This can be due to several reasons, such as testing positive for Covid-19 or being quarantined following close contact with an infected person.

Workers may also have the Red AccessCode if they are placed on precautionary quarantine while their exposure to a positive case is being established, if they no longer have the TraceTogether app installed on their mobile device, or if they are required to undergo rostered routine testing but did not do so.

With the completion of the dormitory-clearance process, MOM said it has adopted a multilayered strategy to prevent a second wave of infections in the cleared dormitories.

This includes grouping migrant workers staying in dormitories by the type of industry they work in and implementing safe distancing measures.

Once a new case is detected, contact tracing efforts will begin.

“Sector agencies will work closely with the employers to assess the risk at the workplaces and put in place safety timeouts if necessary,” said MOM.

Once immediate close contacts of the positive migrant workers have been identified, they will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a dedicated facility. Other close contacts will be quarantined in their dormitories to undergo tests to ensure that they are cleared of the virus before they are able to return to work.

MOM said the new infection cases in cleared dormitories and decant sites are a reminder of the need to be vigilant.

It added that its priority will be to prevent and arrest new infections through early detection, timely containment and effective isolation.

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