Lawrence Wong: Clearance of migrant workers’ dorms today does not imply we will automatically have COVID-safe dorms in the future

Lawrence Wong: Clearance of migrant workers’ dorms today does not imply we will automatically have COVID-safe dorms in the future

By the end of today (7 Aug), the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force would have completed the testing of all workers in the dormitories, said Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, on his Facebook earlier today.

Mr Wong, who is also the newly-appointed Education Minister, noted that all that remains is a final batch of workers who are still in quarantine for up to another two weeks, adding that these workers will be tested before the end of their quarantine.

However, the Minister cautioned that there might be several more days of high number of cases depending on the outcome of these final exit tests.

“But beyond that, we expect the number of cases to taper down significantly. And by the end of this month, the vast majority of migrant workers in the dorms will be able to resume work,” he assured.

Noting that it was a “massive undertaking” to clear and test all the migrant workers in the dormitories, Mr Wong thanked the officers deployed on the joint task force for their unwavering commitment and dedication in accomplishing their mission over the past four months.

The Minister went on to remind everyone that the battle against COVID-19 is not over, adding that the clearance of migrant workers’ dormitories does not imply that the dormitories are safe from COVID-19 in the future.

“We have reached a major milestone. But our fight against the virus is not over. Just because we have COVID-cleared dorms today doesn’t mean that we will automatically have COVID-safe dorms in the future,” he wrote.

Mr Wong concluding his post saying that the Government will continue to work with employers and dormitory operators “to ensure safer working and living arrangements for migrant workers, and to keep the infection under control.”

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier on Monday (3 Aug) that approximately 273,000 migrant workers staying in dormitories have recovered or tested negative for COVID-19. This number of workers comprises about 89 per cent of them in Singapore.

However, it remains unclear how many of the workers among the 89 per cent were tested negative and how many of them were recovered cases, given that the Government did not separate the figures specifically.

It is noteworthy that if 100 per cent of those tested were recovered cases, then there should be no concern of infection. But if a significant portion of these workers were tested negative, then there is a risk of these workers being infected or in incubation as some of the workers have only recently contracted the virus in the dormitories.

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