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Covid-19: Roommates of infected migrant workers in dorms to be quarantined instead of entire blocks

SINGAPORE — As part of new healthcare protocols for migrant workers, quarantine orders will now only be issued to roommates of Covid-19 cases.

Covid-19: Roommates of infected migrant workers in dorms to be quarantined instead of entire blocks

Previously, workers living in entire blocks or sections within blocks would have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.

SINGAPORE  — As part of new healthcare protocols for migrant workers, quarantine orders will now only be issued to roommates of Covid-19 cases.

Previously, workers living in entire blocks or sections within blocks would have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. 

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced this in a press release on Saturday (Oct 2) along with other new measures at worker dormitories, which it said would align healthcare protocols of migrant workers with the rest of Singapore, 

“With the new adjustments to health measures, we will be able to focus our attention on the symptomatic cases and those who need medical care, while reducing disruption to workers’ lives and work,” said MOH. 

The quarantine period for migrant workers will also be reduced from 14 days to 10 days from the date of last exposure to the confirmed case, with workers self-administering an antigen rapid test (ART) from Day 11 to Day 14.

“The revised policy for quarantine orders will reduce the extent and duration of work disruptions while protecting public health. However, wider quarantine rings may still be applied to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the event of new large clusters,” said MOH. 

Another protocol that is being adjusted for migrant workers is the use of only ARTs for rostered routine testing. 

MOH said this would make testing more convenient for migrant workers living in dormitories. 

It added, however, that dormitory residents with acute respiratory illness symptoms should continue to report to a regional medical centre where a  polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be administered. 

MOH said that it will also allow fully vaccinated workers who test positive for Covid-19 and have no symptoms to isolate and recover in a dedicated facility within the dormitories for up to 10 days. 

These asymptomatic vaccinated workers will have access to thermometers, oximeters for monitoring and telemedicine support. 

These workers will be required to take an ART test after Day 3 and will be discharged from the recovery facilities upon receiving a negative result. 

Symptomatic workers will be given a confirmatory PCR test and conveyed to community care facilities or hospitals depending on their condition. 

“This will ensure better prioritisation of healthcare capacity for treating serious cases, as well as for other healthcare needs,” said MOH. 

The ministry said that more than 90 per cent of migrant workers in dormitories are vaccinated and generally young.  

Of the infected migrant workers, the vast majority had no symptoms and none have been in the intensive care unit. Only one who had been vaccinated with a non-Pandemic Special Access Route vaccine needed oxygen supplementation briefly, it said.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus MOH dormitories Migrant Workers

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