CIRCUIT BREAKER ANNIVERSARY: HOW SINGAPORE INC RESPONDED

Over 2,000 RWS staff put skills to good use

Janice Heng
Published Wed, Apr 7, 2021 · 05:50 AM

Singapore

MANAGING facilities with a total of 11,000 beds was not too daunting a task for Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), whose duties as the managing agent for two community care facilities (CCFs) covered everything from admission and housekeeping, to manning the operations command centre around the clock.

"We were confident that with our strong track record and vast experience in managing large-scale tourism and hospitality facilities, we would be a good partner to the government and other agencies in caring for Covid-19 patients," said RWS' assistant vice-president for hotels Tina Sim.

The integrated resort (IR) thus volunteered and was appointed managing agent on a pro bono basis, with over 2,000 staff members volunteering to help out.

In the five days from the first CCF at the Singapore Expo being announced on April 5, to receiving the first patients on April 10, RWS put various systems and teams into place.

The operations command centre was up and running, with CCTV and call centre services. RWS also ran "one-stop residency services" for patient's non-medical needs, including admission and discharge, meal arrangements, and daily necessities.

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With most of the residents being migrant workers who were less familiar with English, the volunteers came up with translated posters by which they could indicate any dietary restrictions, and an introductory video in multiple languages including Mandarin, Bengali and Hindi.

The IR's hospitality extended to care packs - including toiletries, bed linen, and instant drinks - for residents who might not have had the time to bring their own personal items, as well as activities ranging from movie nights to festive celebrations, arranged with the medical team and non-governmental organisations.

Fifty RWS volunteers were also trained as "Care Bears", providing emotional support and a listening ear. After feedback from residents, they arranged for services such as hairdressing, remittance, and counselling to be provided as well.

As of December 2020, more than 34,000 patients had stayed at the CCF at the Singapore Expo - and RWS, too, had gained from the experience.

"By stepping forward to volunteer and run operations at the largest CCF in Singapore, RWS was able to provide team members with the opportunity to be meaningfully engaged and to contribute to the nation's effort to overcome Covid-19 while our resort operations were temporarily suspended," said Ms Sim.

"The knowledge and experience we gained in infections control from managing the CCF also enabled us to plan for the safe and smooth re-opening of RWS when the circuit breaker was lifted (in June)."

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