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Joint MOM-MOH-BCA statement on COVID-19 cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge Dormitory

Monday, 24 August 2020

     As of 23 August, a total of 58 cases have been linked to the cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge (STL), a purpose-built dormitory. All 58 cases were asymptomatic. The vast majority of these cases were detected through Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) of the workers with the rest detected as part of testing of persons under quarantine. Contact tracing and epidemiological investigations are ongoing.

2    The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) to around 4,800 workers. This is a precautionary measure while the health status of the workers are being determined. The rest of the residents at STL are either recently recovered workers or were not close contacts of the confirmed cases. In line with the guidance from the Ministry of Health, these workers will be allowed to continue to work and are not required to be isolated. However, all who are not recently recovered workers will continue to be subjected to RRT.

3    MOM will be testing the workers on SHN in the next few days. We expect to find among these workers, some who have evidence of an old infection and are no longer infectious. Such workers will be released from SHN and can resume work. Others will test positive and be sent to the community care facility or hospital to receive medical treatment. The remainder who test negative will be quarantined at centralised facilities so as to prevent any workers incubating the virus from infecting the rest of the population.

4     The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has issued a safety time out notice to 20 construction projects where the COVID-19 positive workers had been working. This is to allow for disinfection of affected areas and a review of onsite safe management measures. A stop work order may then be issued for part or whole of the worksite once the area where the COVID-positive worker and his co-workers operate, have been identified. The builder is required to review his safety management plans and make necessary rectification/improvement to mitigate any risk of further spread.

5    BCA will closely monitor all work sites and will be stepping up our active audits and inspections. BCA will also continue to share good practices and inspection findings on worksite with contractors through its regular Safety Management Officers briefings and dialogue sessions.

6    The new cases detected in the cleared dormitories demonstrate the importance of ongoing surveillance and testing under RRT, as well as the need to remain vigilant and adhere to safe management measures. 

Download PDF version of the media statement here

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