Netizens are questioning the act of one particular company of partitioning their workers on a lorry due to safe-distancing measures after a photo and a video of the workers have been shared online.
The photo shared by Raj Singh on his Facebook page had his caption noting that this practice is stupid even though social distance is important.
He wrote, “In fact it’s showing people exactly what they think of foreign workers- animals.” and added that lorries should be stopped from transporting people
In a video that shows more details of this “innovative” design, we can see that the partitions can be swung open and close by a lock at the end.
This fixture is likely to be in response to the requirement set by Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) on 10 April, have safe distancing measures observed on lorries used to ferry foreign workers involved in providing essential services.
The authorities noted in a joint advisory that employers and lorry owners must review the maximum seating capacity of each vehicle to ensure workers can maintain a safe 1 meter distance between each passenger, in line with the circuit breaker measures announced by the government earlier this week.
MOM and LTA elaborated that appropriate seating should be marked out in the lorries, adding that these measures should also be communicated to both the workers and lorry drivers. The authorities added that employers should provide additional trips or lorries if necessary.
In the joint advisory, MOM and LTA explained that these measures are necessary to reduce the transmission of the virus among workers.
They said, “Employers and lorry owners are expected to comply with the above immediately until the end of the circuit breaker or when notified by the authorities.”
In a report back last month, 28 employers were fined $1,000 each for failing to comply with safe distancing measures for workers who are ferried by lorries.
Netizens questioned if there is any point in using this fixture to begin with since COVID-19 could be spread through the air and also whether it is safe for the workers for them to be seated in this manner.
One netizen pointed out that such a practice is not acceptable as the lorry is not meant to transport workers in the first place while another pointed out that a truck is meant for goods.
Another netizen cracked a joke about the fixture, by suggesting that the design is added by Ikea to their catalogue as “Josephiine”.