Foreign workers show off their dance moves, meals, accommodations, and facilities at several dormitories and camps opened for their use. Ordered to go on 14-day quarantine to stop the surge of COVID-19 infections, these blue-collar workers are segregated based on whether they have been infected or not.
A look inside the dorms and camps
With nothing to do but wait out the quarantine period to see whether symptoms would arise, several of the workers have uploaded photos and videos.
One video shows a worker dancing along the side of a dormitory with a view of the sea.
Another video showed how the workers are having fun while cleaning their area, which looks orderly and spacious.
Far cry from the dormitories of before
It’s no secret that foreign workers in blue collar jobs are compensated justly in Singapore, and that the condition of workers’ dormitories have improved over the years quite a lot.
A netizen who reportedly worked for construction companies showed that the Ministry of Manpower required firms to comply with rules to improve living conditions in dormitories.
The previous photos and videos of overflowing trash bins and dirty kitchens are an anomaly–probably brought about by the sudden changes in how Singapore is handling the foreign worker infection cluster.
With the dorm in S-11 @Punggol becoming a large infection cluster, the MOM has stepped up sanitation to two or three times in a day, and meals are no longer allowed to be cooked–only delivered regularly. The meals are also of better quality compared to before, according to the same netizen.
In a post on Singaporean forum HardwareZone, the construction industry worker said, ” MOM regulations have tightened over the years, which in turn discouraged dorm operators from flouting the rules. Since the infection clusters at dormitories started popping up, MOM has gone bonkers and started to increase the frequency of refuse removal and cleaning of the common areas from once to three or four times daily.
“Those at the infected dormitories have their hot meals distributed within an average of one hour and a half. They even have TASTING sessions to ensure that the food suits their taste.”
How bad is the infection spreading in foreign workers?
The 50,000 foreign workers living in dormitories have become one of the overlooked sectors in Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. Segregating the workers based on their health status and aggressive contact tracing are just some of the strategies employed in addressing the infection in their ranks.
According to reports from Channel News Asia, Toh Guan Dormitory has been declared an isolation area. S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory were earlier made isolation areas as well.
As of publishing, the Toh Guan dorm has 29 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, while the S11 Dorm has 88.
Singaporean authorities continue to implement a strategy for containing the virus in the blue-collar foreign worker community, which includes a 14-day quarantine in dormitories during the Circuit Breaker.