Transfer of COVID-19 cases from Jurong dormitory delayed due to ‘significant spike’ among SembCorp Marine workers, operator says

Centurion said Thursday that the dormitory has a capacity of 3,400 beds, 40 percent of which — about 1,400 beds — are occupied by SembCorp Marine workers.

“Over the past week, there has been a rise in cases detected among SembCorp Marine workers. Due to the large numbers, there have been delays in transportation to recovery and healthcare facilities,” the operator said.

Centurion said it is working closely with the Department of Manpower’s Insurance, Care and Engagement (ACE) group to “overcome the logistical challenges posed by this latest increase” in COVID-19 infections.

All cases have been transferred to appropriate care or recovery facilities, she said, adding that the ACE group has deployed a mobile medical team to the dormitory.

“ACE, SembCorp Marine and Westlite together add efforts to educate resident migrant workers about health management and testing policies and protocols, as defined by Singapore authorities, that differ from the views of their countries and cultures,” Centurion said.

The operator said COVID-19 testing and movement protocols have been “followed at Westlite Jalan Tukang and are being followed”.

“Westlite Accommodation implements safe living procedures in the residence, and works closely with authorities monitoring migrant workers who have tested positive for COVID-19,” she added.

Catering

Centurion has also responded to allegations of poor quality food being served to dormitory workers.

“Meals for SembCorp Marine workers residing at Westlite Jalan Tukang are provided and managed by SembCorp Marine,” the operator said.

“We understand that the company has listened to the feedback of its workers, made adjustments and will continually improve the catering service provider’s service and food quality.”

In outlining its responsibilities as an accommodation provider, Centurion said its role is to “provide good quality living environments for all of our residents” and “help with the distribution or collection of meals provided by employers to their workers residing with us.”

Her role was also to “help coordinate between authorities, health service providers and employers on measures to contain and manage COVID-19,” she said.

The Cyprus News Agency has reached out to SembCorp Marine for comment.

Dormitory health protocols

According to the Ministry of Manpower website, migrant workers are subject to the latest simplified health protocols of the Ministry of Health.

Close contacts of COVID-19 cases are issued a health risk warning and are required to take a rapid antigen test every day for seven days.

If the test result is negative, they are allowed to leave housing and go to work.

If they test positive but have been fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, they recover at a dormitory recovery facility or central recovery facility.

Centurion said workers who have tested positive for the virus are being isolated from other residents in dormitory recovery facilities. She added that central resuscitation facilities are located abroad and authorities are referring cases there.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, if workers test positive and are not immunized or accompanied by symptoms, they should be isolated in a dormitory isolation facility or a swab isolation facility while awaiting the results of the confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

If the PCR test result is negative, they can go back to work. If positive, workers will be brought to a community care facility or hospital depending on their condition.

Centurion said this transfer to outside facilities is being carried out by medical authorities.

Co-workers who test positive using ART should test themselves with ART if necessary and monitor their health, according to the MOM website.

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