SINGAPORE – Plans have been put on hold to relax restrictions on migrant workers’ movements given the recent residential cluster and infection rises in some of their home countries, said Tan See Leng, Management Minister for Sunday (May 2). Dr Tan, the incoming Minister of Public Works, said on a visit to a site at the Seletar Vaccination Centre, which is newly established, “It is important since we have primarily a responsibility to protect the lives and health of all of us migrants, industry and livelihoods.
He added: “The last thing we want is for everyone to relax and go out into the community, and then it sparks another wave. I think then we’ll be much worse off. So with an abundance of caution, we decided to delay that and we want to see how this (situation) continues.”
A pilot scheme to migrant workers in some dormitories was announced last December to be available once a month in the community. It will be launched in the first quarter of the year subject to compliance by workers with listed routine tests, the use of contact tracers and safe living conditions.Dr Tan said on Sunday it was initially planned that restrictions would be reduced in April.
The Minister of Public Works Josephine Teo, who visited the center, said that Singapore is in a period of increased vigilance.
“I think we don’t want to rush things… We want to enable employers as well to support workers in a broad range of their needs, including their recreational needs, but we need to be careful not to take one step forward and two steps back.”
Preventive Preventive Covid-19 tests in dormitories and worksites follow a new cluster of infections in the dormitory of western Woodlands. In community cases, 14 more patients were confirmed on Sunday, most of whom were patients linked to a nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. None of the workers’ dorms existed.
Tan announced that 42,000 of them, 13 to 15 per cent of the total population of migrant workers in dormitory vaccinations, were vaccinated. He added that these workers will be vaccinated in tandem with the rest of the population. Last month, two new vaccination centers – the Seletar one and the Country Club and National Care Resort – were established to cater to dormitory workers who may not be able to provide ample vaccine drive facilities.
The centers can accommodate 1,000 vaccines a day. Due to the high level of Community cases and the emergence of new clusters, Singapore has tightened measures during the past week, while Malaysia has also announced that its Cov-19 protocols are being reviewed following a hump in the last two weeks.
“It is very difficult for both sides at present to come up with a concrete and secured solution (for) cross-border movements and also to frame what we can communicate to the public,” said Mr Hishammuddin.
Fixed: More than 41,000 migrant workers have been vaccinated and a capacity of around 2,500 to 3,000 vaccinations a day is stated in a previous version. The MOM explained that 42,000 people were vaccinated, with a daily capacity of 1,000.
Source: The Straits Times