About 800 migrant workers have been newly quarantined after a COVID-19 case was discovered among them in a cleared dormitory, said Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (12 Aug).
According to the MOH, the newly quarantined workers are among about 22,800 workers who are still serving out their quarantine period, though the Inter-agency Taskforce (ITF) has completed the testing of all workers in the dormitories.
“These workers will be tested when their quarantine ends, and we expect the case counts to remain high in the coming days, before tapering down thereafter,” said the Ministry in its statement yesterday.
It also stated that the dormitories at 33 Senoko Way and 23 Sungei Kadut Street 2 have been cleared, and now house only recovered individuals and those who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 infection. Hence, the clusters have now been closed.
On Tuesday (11 Aug), various agencies said in a joint statement that there have already been instances where new cases of COVID-19 infections are detected at previously cleared dormitories.
It also noted that the ITF is actively monitoring the dormitories to manage the risk of new outbreaks.
As part of precautions, the authorities have carried out a multi-layered approach by requiring workers to self-monitor their health, and conducting regular routine testing for the workers in higher risk settings to ensure workers to resume work safely while minimising the risk of renewed infections.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in a statement on Tuesday noted that all dormitories have been declared cleared of COVID-19, with the exception of 17 standalone blocks in six Purpose-Built Dormitories (PBDs) which serve as quarantine facilities.
“This means that all workers living in dormitories have either recovered or have been tested to be free from the virus, except for 22,500 workers in isolation in Centralised Government Quarantine Facilities and the remaining 17 standalone blocks in PBDs,” said the MOM.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who also co-chairs of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, has cautioned that the clearance of migrant workers’ dormitories does not imply that the dormitories are safe from COVID-19 in the future.
“We have reached a major milestone. But our fight against the virus is not over. Just because we have COVID-cleared dorms today doesn’t mean that we will automatically have COVID-safe dorms in the future,” said Mr Wong on 7 Aug, after announcing that the task force would have completed the testing of all workers in the dormitories by the end of that day.
As of yesterday, MOH has confirmed an additional 42 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore, which include 11 imported cases, one case in the community, and 30 cases from migrant workers staying in dormitories.
This brings the country’s total number of infection cases to 55,395.