SINGAPORE: Two more dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Acacia Lodge and Cochrane Lodge 1 were declared isolation areas under the Infectious Diseases Act, according to a notice by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Government Gazette.
The notice came into effect at midnight on Saturday (Apr 11).
The premises under isolation at Acacia Lodge are 530, 532, 534, 536, 538 and 540 at Bukit Batok Street 23.
At Cochrane Lodge 1, the premises under isolation are Blocks A, B, C, D, E and F at 51 Admiralty Road West.
On Saturday, seven additional cases are linked to the cluster at Cochrane Lodge I, which has a total of 22 cases.
READ: ‘Dedicated strategy’ to break COVID-19 spread in dormitories, including housing healthy workers in army camps
Singapore has seen spike in the number of COVID-19 cases at foreign worker dormitories in the past week.
Last Sunday, two foreign worker dormitories housing – S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory – were gazetted as isolation areas. Both house close to 20,000 workers in total.
Toh Guan Dormitory, was declared an isolation area on Monday. It houses around 4,500 foreign workers, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) told CNA.
On Wednesday, two blocks at Sungei Tengah Lodge – 506 and 512 Old Choa Chu Kang Road – were declared isolation areas on Wednesday.
The dormitory, which has 10 residential blocks and can house up to 25,000 workers, is one of Singapore’s largest workers’ dormitories.
Tampines Dormitory became the fifth in the week to be declared an isolation area on Thursday.
MOM said that the gazetting of dormitories has been 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 on Friday that food distribution, cleanliness and hygiene have improved.
Teams with either military or police officers and MOM personnel are now working with the dormitory operators.
READ: Battling fear and boredom, migrant workers grapple with isolation in dormitories
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.
On Thursday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said foreign workers who are not sick and working in essential services will be housed separately, and more measures will be enforced to maintain hygiene and food supplies in dormitories.
Military camps, Changi Exhibition Centre, vacant HDB flats and offshore floating lodgings have been identified as accommodation to house healthy essential workers.
More than 5,000 workers have already moved out to army camps and vacant HDB blocks such as those at Tanjong Pagar and Jurong, Mr Wong said.