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Joint MOM-BCA-EDB-HPB Media Release on Multi-Layered Approach to Ensure Safe Restart of Work

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

The testing of all migrant workers staying in dormitories has been completed. To allow the workers to resume work, while minimising the risk of renewed infections, dormitories are putting in place safe living measures, such as having staggered pick- up/drop-off timings, updating of the workers’ residence addresses, and minimising mixing between blocks. Employers and workers are also required to observe proper safe distancing measures at the workplace.

2     With more daily movements in and out of the dormitories, it is even more important for everyone to remain vigilant to guard against new infections. There have already been instances where new cases of COVID-19 cases are detected at previously cleared dormitories. The Interagency Task Force (ITF) is actively monitoring the dormitories to manage the risk of new outbreaks. This is achieved through four key layers of safeguards:

I.   First, workers are required to self-monitor their health. They are required to report their temperature and also if they have any acute respiratory illness symptoms through the FWMOMCare App twice a day. Workers who report symptoms will be identified and cared for immediately.

II.   Second, we monitor closely the number of migrant workers who report sick at the medical posts, as an early indication of any possible infections.

III.   Third, we monitor the wastewater from higher risk dormitories for traces of the COVID-19 virus.

IV.   Fourth, workers in higher risk settings are put through regular routine testing. This includes workers staying in dormitories and workers who work onsite in the construction, marine and process sectors. They are required to go for a swab test every 14 days. Workers who were infected previously and have recovered from COVID-19 are not required to undergo regular testing for 180 days.

3     If our monitoring picks up potential infections among migrant workers, the ITF will quickly isolate and quarantine all at-risk workers* within the block that was housing the infected worker as a precautionary measure. Aggressive testing will be conducted to identify any further spread of the virus.

4     To protect the health of the workers, employers of workers that need to be regularly tested are required to arrange for their workers to undergo the COVID-19 swab test every 14 days at a Regional Screening Centre, or an in-dormitory test centre where available. Employers should space out the testing of their workers over the 14-day period to ensure that we are able to maintain constant surveillance of the COVID-19 situation amongst the workers.

5     The Health Promotion Board has launched the Swab Registration System (SRS) to enable employers to book appointment slots for the testing of their workers. Employers can make use of the SRS to select the swab location and testing date for their workers. Information on how to arrange for the testing of their workers has been sent to all employers with eligible workers electronically. As workers will be required to go for regular tests when the dormitories they are residing in are cleared, employers are encouraged to check the SRS regularly to book appointments for their workers.

6     Employers who have not arranged for their workers to be swabbed within the 14- day timeframe are reminded to do so immediately.


*Workers who have recovered for less than 90 days will not need to be isolated as current medical evidence suggests that they continue to have immunity. Those who have recovered for more than 90 days from their original illness will be clinically assessed as to whether they will require repeat testing and isolation, if they develop fresh respiratory symptoms.


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