Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Cleanliness at 2 gazetted foreign worker dorms stepped up, meals delivered in timely manner: MOM

SINGAPORE — Waste management and sanitation regimes at two of the foreign workers’ dormitories gazetted as “isolation areas” have improved in recent days, following concerns of unsanitary living conditions there, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday (April 7).

The S11 Dormitory in Punggol. Working under the guidelines of the National Environment Agency, the manpower ministry said that the dormitories have increased the frequency of refuse removal from the premises to three times daily — up from once per day before.

The S11 Dormitory in Punggol. Working under the guidelines of the National Environment Agency, the manpower ministry said that the dormitories have increased the frequency of refuse removal from the premises to three times daily — up from once per day before.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — Waste management and sanitation regimes at two of the foreign workers’ dormitories gazetted as “isolation areas” have improved in recent days, following concerns of unsanitary living conditions there, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday (April 7).

The foreign workers will be spending their time in these facilities during the month-long “circuit breaker” starting on Tuesday when they will not be working.

The S11 Dormitory in Punggol and Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory near Jurong East were gazetted as "isolation areas" on Sunday. In a media statement, MOM said that operators at the two dormitories have taken steps to ramp up the cleaning routines and to cope with the increased use of washroom facilities, as well as the higher volumes of rubbish generated.

Working under the guidelines of the National Environment Agency (NEA), MOM said that the dormitories have increased the frequency of refuse removal from the premises to three times daily — up from once per day before.

The disinfection and cleaning of the common areas and washroom facilities are also being carried out three times daily, the manpower ministry said.

MOM said an inter-agency taskforce has been set up to provide support to foreign workers and dormitory operators at the two dormitories during this period, as well as at Toh Guan Dormitory (not to be confused with Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory) — which on Monday became the third dormitory gazetted as an "isolation area". 

The Straits Times had earlier reported on the squalid conditions of the workers at the dormitories, and that food had been served to them in an untimely manner.

This prompted veteran diplomat Tommy Koh to condemn what he called the "Third World" treatment of foreign workers here, and pointed out that the infection clusters in the dormitories should serve as a “wake up call”. 

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo also addressed the issue on Monday in a Facebook post, vowing to devote attention to it after the Covid-19 outbreak is over.

 

Following the uproar, MOM said that conditions at the two dormitories have “continued to improve” as dedicated multi-agency teams have worked round-the-clock to ensure the well-being of the foreign workers.

MEALS NOW DELIVERED IN TIMELY MANNER

Following hitches to the delivery of meals to the workers, MOM said that multiple professional caterers have been engaged to provide meals to the foreign workers.

“To date, the caterers have delivered close to 160,000 portions of meals and snacks,” MOM said, adding that the dormitory residents have now been able to receive their meals in a timely manner.

The ministry said that the meals are being delivered by the caterers in batches “to ensure fairness”, as well as to stagger meal times.

“Over the last two days, the meal distribution timings have improved. We will continue to work with the dormitory operators and caterers to further improve the efficiency of the meal distribution process,” said MOM.

The statement said MOM personnel had assisted the dorm operators, supported by the Ministry of Health, National Environment Agency, the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, Migrant Workers’ Centre and other agencies.

CARE PACKS MADE AVAILABLE TO DORM RESIDENTS

All 20,000 residents at the two dormitories have also received care packs consisting of masks, thermometers and hand sanitisers, MOM said, adding that a similar care pack will be distributed to resident workers at Toh Guan Dormitory, which is not far from Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory.

“From Tuesday, our teams at the dormitories will work with operators to ensure that resident workers monitor their temperature twice daily, and also don masks when they step out of their rooms to collect their meals or use washroom facilities,” MOM said.

It added that basic medical facilities have been set up at S11 and Westlite to take care of the health of the residents, where those who become unwell will be relocated and housed separately to prevent them from infecting their roommates.

MOM TO CONTINUE KEEPING TABS ON CONDITION AT WORKERS’ DORMS

MOM said that it will continue to keep a close eye on the dormitory conditions and will intervene  to ensure standards are kept.

“We appreciate the support of foreign worker ambassadors from the Migrant Workers’ Centre who have been on-site throughout this period and engaging the residents,” said MOM.

It added that the gazetting of the dormitories as “isolation areas” was a “major decision” to protect the health of the workers.

“They build on precautions that had been progressively implemented at foreign worker dormitories throughout Singapore since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak,” said MOM.

Calling on the dormitory residents to play their role against the spread of the virus, MOM said that they can help to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene within the dormitory premises by bringing rubbish bags to the designated points to ensure that rooms and common areas remain clean.

The residents can also cooperate with the temperature taking to “ensure their health” and work with the dormitory operators so as not to impede meal distributions.

“We seek the residents and public’s understanding and patience as we continue to work with the dormitory operators to resolve the ground challenges and ensure the workers’ well-being,” said the ministry.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus workers dormitory circuit breaker

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.