SOME 40,000 migrant workers in Singapore living in dormitories have been cleared of Covid-19 infection to resume working from Tuesday as the circuit breaker lifts.
Around 60,000 workers will be housed by end-2020 in eight sites identified for low density "new quick build dormitories", it was disclosed at a Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) virtual press conference on Monday evening.
The MTF also said face masks rather than shields will continue to be mandatory when people leave homes. Face shields can be used in place of masks only for children 12 years and below who have trouble with wearing masks for a long period; for people with health conditions and have difficulty in breathing; and for people speaking to a group in a classroom or lecture-style setting.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the taskforce combating Covid-19 pandemic has decided that face shields are not as effective as masks in reducing the risk of the virus spreading.
On the 40,000 migrant workers being cleared, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said: "It means every block in a dorm has been cleared, and every resident in those blocks has been cleared of Covid-19 infection." Of these workers, she said, 12,000 are essential workers who had already been moved out of dorms into other short-term accomodations.
More than 20,000 workers have recovered from the virus and are rehoused at various temporary sites. A further 8,000 are dorm residents who have either tested negative for Covid-19, or tested positive but have since fully recovered. They have been discharged and are now living with their fellow workers.
The eight sites identified for the new quick build dorms to be located are Kranji Way, 1 Tuas Avenue 2, Tuas South Avenue 10, Jalan Tukang, Admiralty Street, Choa Chu Kang Grove, Choa Chu Kang Way and Tampines Industrial Avenue 2.