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Public gets glimpse of floating lodgings for foreign workers

SINGAPORE — The public got a glimpse of the floating accommodation that will be used to house foreign workers, after Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan posted on Facebook pictures of these facilities which are commonly used in the marine and offshore industry.

Public gets glimpse of floating lodgings for foreign workers

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan visiting the floating accommodation.

SINGAPORE — The public got a glimpse of the floating accommodation that will be used to house foreign workers, after Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan posted on Facebook pictures of these facilities which are commonly used in the marine and offshore industry.

The floating cabins are now parked in a restricted area in the Tanjong Pagar Terminal, with strict measures in place to limit movement.

Covid-19 infections have spiked in foreign worker dormitories recently and seven dormitories — Acacia Lodge, Cochrane Lodge 1, Tampines dormitory, Sungei Tengah Lodge, S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Westlite Toh Guan and Toh Guan dormitory — have been gazetted as isolation areas. The workers’ living conditions have come under the spotlight after reports surfaced about the tight living spaces and unsanitary conditions on the premises.

The Bibby Progress (right) and The Floatel Triumph (left) are the two temporary floating accommodation facilities that will be used to house healthy foreign workers to curb the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Nuria Ling/TODAY

The floating accommodation is the solution that has been activated, Mr Khaw said in his Facebook post on Sunday (April 12), adding that they are suitable for foreign workers who are well and not working during this circuit breaker period.

Mr Khaw said that the floating lodgings can hold a few hundred occupants and can be suitably organised to achieve safe distancing. Meals can be prepared off-site and delivered to the cabins to minimise inter-mingling, he said.

“Covid-19 clusters in foreign workers’ dorms is a grave concern. In China, transmission within families has been shown to be a major driver. Each dorm is practically a huge family unit, hence our concern,” he said.

What the rooms look like. Photo: Khaw Boon Wan/Facebook

To reduce the density within each dorm, the creation of new dorms and new capacity is required so that workers can be re-accommodated, Mr Khaw said.

“Building new ones takes time. Speeding up planned construction, like those in Changi Airport to support Terminal 5, is a no-regret solution and we are pushing full steam ahead. Repurposing vacant buildings is another practical solution,” he added.

Related topics

floating accommodation Covid-19 coronavirus Khaw Boon Wan

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