Bangkok Post

New mi­grant iso­la­tion pol­icy in Sin­ga­pore

- Business · Singapore · Beijing · India · Indonesia · Ministry of Manpower

>>SIN­GA­PORE: The city state will quar­an­tine fewer mi­grant work­ers in their dor­mi­to­ries should Covid-19 cases be de­tected in the liv­ing quar­ters, tweak­ing its ap­proach to re­duce work dis­rup­tion and im­prove their wel­fare.

The new pol­icy will iso­late smaller groups when a new case is found in a dorm, in­stead of an en­tire block of work­ers, the Min­istry of Man­power said on Fri­day. This ap­plies to res­i­dences where there are no in­ter­mix­ing be­tween work­ers, with seg­re­ga­tion mea­sures put in place by op­er­a­tors, it said.

Those who have re­cov­ered from Covid-19 and are within 150 days of their in­fec­tion won’t need to be quar­an­tined, the min­istry said, cit­ing the lat­est med­i­cal ev­i­dence that showed they still have an­ti­bod­ies to guard against re-in­fec­tion. Pre­vi­ously, those who had passed their 120th day of in­fec­tion had to serve quar­an­tine.

“Through our col­lec­tive ef­forts, our mi­grant work­ers will re­main safe and healthy, and our busi­nesses can min­imise dis­rup­tion to their op­er­a­tions,” the min­istry said.

Mi­grant work­ers have ac­counted for al­most all of the Sin­ga­pore’s virus cases. Since April, they have been con­fined to their res­i­dences with lim­ited ex­cep­tions for work.

Af­ter an ex­ten­sive test­ing and quar­an­tine cam­paign, the state cleared the dor­mi­to­ries of Covid-19 in Au­gust. But new virus clus­ters soon re-emerged in the dorms, where work­ers from China, In­dia, In­done­sia and else­where share bunks and tight liv­ing spa­ces, rais­ing ques­tions about whether con­di­tions for the low-wage work­force un­der­mine the ef­forts to stamp it out.

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