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Sembcorp Marine has ‘taken note’ of feedback on hygiene and quality of food served to workers in Jurong dormitory

SINGAPORE — Sembcorp Marine has “taken note of the feedback” on the hygiene and quality of food served to the migrant workers employed by the company, it said on Thursday night (Oct 14).

Sembcorp Marine has ‘taken note’ of feedback on hygiene and quality of food served to workers in Jurong dormitory

In photos shared on online chat and social media platform Weixin, migrant workers from Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory said that they found insects in their catered food.

SINGAPORE — Sembcorp Marine has “taken note of the feedback” on the hygiene and quality of food served to the migrant workers employed by the company, it said on Thursday night (Oct 14).

Responding to CNA's queries about an investigation by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) at the Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory on Wednesday, the company said in a statement that it has issued reminders to the food caterer on “strict adherence” to hygiene standards.

“The company is cognisant of the diverse food preferences of migrant workers from different cultures and has been working closely with the caterer to continuously cater to the differing needs of the individuals,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, MOM deployed its officers to investigate allegations about breaches of Covid-19 health protocols, a lack of access to medical support and the poor quality of catered food at the dormitory.

The police were also activated, with dozens of police officers in protective gear, along with others wearing red berets, showing up at the dormitory.

When CNA arrived at the dormitory on Wednesday afternoon, there were four Special Operations Command vehicles and several other armoured police vehicles parked along the road outside.

The allegations were published in an online article on Weixin, a version of WeChat for China's users.

In the article, disgruntled workers shared photos of insects and hair they found in their food.

Photos of long queues and workers being transported out of the dormitory also surfaced. Some workers quoted in the article said that they slept outside their rooms after testing positive for Covid-19, to avoid infecting their room-mates.

Centurion Corporation, which operates the Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory, confirmed on Thursday that the transfer of Covid-19 cases from the dormitory to recovery and healthcare facilities was delayed.

This was due to a “spike” in infections among SembCorp Marine workers, the dormitory operator said.

In its statement earlier on Thursday, the operator said that it wanted to provide "context and clarity" to claims made in relation to Sembcorp Marine workers staying at the dormitory.

The dormitory has a capacity of 3,400 beds, of which 40 per cent — about 1,400 beds — were occupied by Sembcorp Marine workers, Centurion said.

"Over the past week, there has been a spike in cases detected among Sembcorp Marine workers. Due to the large numbers, there have been delays in conveyance to recovery facilities and healthcare facilities." 

Centurion has been working closely with MOM's Assurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) Group to "overcome the logistical challenges posed by this recent increase" in Covid-19 cases, it said.

All the workers who were infected have been taken to the appropriate care or recovery facilities, and the ACE Group has deployed a mobile medical team to be present at the dormitory.

Sembcorp Marine said in its statement that the dormitory operator is following the mandatory Covid-19 health testing and movement protocols, and it has been working closely with the relevant authorities.

“The company is mindful that the current protocols in Singapore may not be apparent to the residents in the Tukang Dorm, and may differ from Covid-19 management measures from their home country,” it added.

“In this regard, the company, jointly with ACE and Westlite, have been on the ground providing clarifications and assurance to the residents on such measures.” CNA

For more news like this, visit cna.asia

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus dormitory Migrant Workers Sembcorp Marine MOM police

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