Purpose-built dormitories that house migrant workers see a 25% drop in occupancy

Purpose-built dormitories that house migrant workers see a 25% drop in occupancy

As more migrant workers’ dormitories are gradually being cleared of COVID-19, it has been reported that purpose-built dormitories (PBDs) have seen a 25 per cent decrease in occupancy.

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Ministry of National Development (MND), the PBDs currently cater to approximately 160,000 migrant workers, and the total number of workers staying in the PBDs was 212,000 back in April.

The Straits Times reported that the Government has been moving some workers out of their dormitories to other accommodations, such as Government temporary sites or new temporary living quarters in the past few months.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed that 105 blocks in 22 dormitories are currently still gazetted, while 71 blocks from 14 dormitories were no longer serving as isolation areas as of 19 July.

Besides that, the movements of the migrant workers in the isolation areas were “controlled”, and precautionary measures were “strictly enforced” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The control measures were imposed to prevent the occupants of the degazetted blocks from mingling with the ones from the blocks that remain as isolation areas. The MOH also revealed that only migrant workers from selected blocks are allowed to return to work.

What’s more, the workers are required to report their health status on a daily basis, stagger the use of common facilities, as well as minimise the interaction with the people living in other blocks.

The MOH clarified that the degazetted dormitory blocks currently only house recovered individuals and the ones who were tested negative for the coronavirus.

“We will continue to evaluate the situation in the dormitories, and more blocks will be progressively removed from this list (of gazetted dorms) to house more recovered foreign workers and those tested negative in the coming weeks,” said the Ministry.

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