SINGAPORE: Food distribution, cleanliness and hygiene standards at two dormitories were stabilised within 48 hours of them being gazetted as isolation areas, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Saturday (Apr 11).
The transition is now smoother with the experiences gleaned from the management of the first three dormitories put in isolation, said the ministry.
“Over the last few days, we were able to replicate … best practices in the management of the first three dormitories, to quickly normalise operations and living conditions at Sungei Tengah Lodge Dormitory and Tampines Dormitory,” said MOM.
Sungei Tengah Lodge and Tampines Dormitory were the two latest migrant worker dormitories to be quarantined this week. S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory and Toh Guan Dormitory were gazetted earlier.
More than 10 such purpose-built worker quarters in Singapore have reported a total of more than 550 COVID-19 cases as of Friday.
READ: COVID-19: Battling fear and boredom, migrant workers grapple with isolation in dormitories
MOM said that the gazetting of dormitories was an “enormous undertaking”, leading to many initial challenges.
Workers had complained of delayed meals, overflowing rubbish bins and unsanitary conditions, as workers now spend the entire day at the dormitories during the circuit breaker period.
But authorities said that food distribution, cleanliness and hygiene have improved.
For Sungei Tengah Lodge, which has more than 24,000 residents living in 10 blocks, caterers packed the meals by room according to their dietary preferences, which were then delivered directly to the rooms.
More manpower and resources were provided immediately to manage clearing of waste and more frequent cleaning of common facilities.
READ: HDB contractors to temporarily house migrant workers at unused car parks, void decks
At Sungei Tengah Lodge, the dormitory operator tripled the number of cleaners from six per residential block to 18.
At Tampines Dormitory, which currently houses about 2,000 workers, the dormitory operator has increased the number of cleaning staff from 10 to 12.
The clearing of trash and cleaning and sanitation of common areas and facilities has gone up to three times a day for both.
Teams with either military or police officers and MOM personnel are now working with the dormitory operators.
Safe distancing measures have been implemented at the quarantined dormitories, MOM added. Dormitory residents are required to stay in their rooms and only leave their rooms to collect food and other supplies, or to use the washroom.
“We will continue to reduce the number of workers in each dormitory in order to implement effective safe distancing measures within the dormitories,” it said.