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Punggol, Toh Guan dorms gazetted as ‘isolation areas’, almost 20,000 foreign workers under quarantine

SINGAPORE — Two workers’ dormitories have been gazetted as “isolation areas”, with almost 20,000 foreign workers being quarantined, after a spike in cases from these residences.

The Westlite Toh Guan dormitory has been gazetted as an "isolation area". The Government said additional control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of further transmission of Covid-19, which will help keep the workers safe, as well as protect the wider community.

The Westlite Toh Guan dormitory has been gazetted as an "isolation area". The Government said additional control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of further transmission of Covid-19, which will help keep the workers safe, as well as protect the wider community.

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SINGAPORE — Two workers’ dormitories have been gazetted as “isolation areas”, with almost 20,000 foreign workers being quarantined, after a spike in cases from these residences.

Of the 120 cases of Covid-19 infection reported on Sunday (April 5), 22 are related to the S11 Dormitory in Punggol and 10 linked to the Westlite Toh Guan dormitory.

The S11 dormitory currently houses 13,000 workers, while Westlite has 6,800.

The Government said additional control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of further transmission of the disease, which will help keep the workers safe, as well as protect the wider community.

The authorities have also stepped up safe distancing measures at dormitories, such as by staggering meal times.

With the gazetting of these dormitories as “isolation areas”, workers will have to stay in their rooms for the next 14 days. Their meals will be provided for.

As for workers in essential services, they will be moved out of the dormitories and housed separately. The number of such workers in these dormitories is “relatively small”, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said at a briefing by the multi-ministry taskforce that is overseeing the Covid-19 crisis.

To minimise the risk of transmission among workers staying in the two dormitories, interactions and intermingling will be minimised, she added.

“We will further thin out the number of people in the dorms, and this is to facilitate the enhanced safe distancing measures that we want to implement,” Mrs Teo said.

In addition, any worker at these dormitories who is unwell, even if he has not tested positive for Covid-19, will be relocated and housed separately in sick bays.

The affected workers will continue to receive their salaries as the period of quarantine is treated as paid hospitalisation leave, said Mrs Teo.

The Minister of Manpower said it is working closely with all dormitory operators to implement similar measures within their premises with immediate effect.

Efforts are also underway in the larger dormitories to reduce the density of their resident workers, by transferring some among them to alternative accommodation during this period.

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Covid-19 coronavirus Westlite Toh Guan dormitory

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