Josephine Teo: Dormitories Shifting Out of ‘Crisis Mode’ to a More Sustainable Model

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You know that when a political office holder, someone who’s scrutinised for everything and anything from English standards to the number of eggs in their home, decided to type everything in ALL CAPS, it means something’s up and you should listen.

And that’s exactly what Manpower Minister Josephine Teo took to her Facebook page to do yesterday (17 Aug).

Josephine Teo: Dormitories Shifting Out of ‘Crisis Mode’ to a More Sustainable Model

Here’s the exact sentence she had in ALL CAPS:

“MOVING INTO THE NEXT PHASE OF DORMITORY OPERATIONS”

While the rest of Singapore has escaped the Circuit Breaker and started on the path to the new norm, foreign workers living in dormitories have been left behind, still dealing with the lockdown of the dormitories.

Until recently, that is.

In her post, Minister Teo said that all of the dormitories have been cleared and just like the rest of Singapore, they are now moving into a new phase.

Three Phases Back To Normalcy

The dormitories have now shifted out of “crisis mode”, she revealed, and the Inter-agency Task Force (ITF) is now focused on the next step: moving through the three key phases: Safe-Reopening, Safe Transition and Safe Nation.

Previously, all of their efforts were targeted at saving lives.

But moving forward, they are now focusing their efforts on “protecting livelihoods” and “guarding against new infections”.

Thank You, ITF Officers

Minister Teo also thanked the close to 3,000 officers in the ITF, 1,000 of which are officers from the Ministry of Manpower, as well as the employers and dormitory operators.

Without them working around the clock, this wouldn’t have been possible.

However, she cautioned, there is still much to do and everyone in Singapore still has to stay on guard.

You can read her full post below:

This couldn’t have come at a better time as migrant workers living in dormitories are reportedly stressed out, with some even resorting to extreme actions.

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Hopefully, as the migrant workers living in dormitories catches up with the rest of Singapore in terms of the easing of restrictions, things will get better for them (and us, since we depend on them economically).

Some Safety Management Measures Previously Announced:

Previously, the authorities have announced a series of measures for the construction, shipping and Marine & Gas sectors:

  • Foreign workers working on-site and living in dormitories have to be swabbed every 14 days
  • Workers have to report symptoms and temperatures twice daily through an app
  • Those who just recovered from Covid-19 don’t have to be tested for 180 days
  • Staggered pick-up and drop-off timing
  • Minimise mixing between blocks
  • Updating of workers’ residential addresses
  • Dormitories at high risk of Covid-19 transmission will have wastewater tested regularly
  • The number of foreign workers who reported sick will also be closely monitored and tracked