Asia

30 to 70 hotels used as dedicated SHN facilities at any one time: Desmond Lee

SINGAPORE – At any one time, there are usually 30 to 70 hotels serving as designated facilities for people serving Stay-Home Notices (SHN), said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Tuesday (Feb 2).

Flexible arrangements have been put in place, allowing for these facilities to be activated or stood down depending on demand, he added in a written reply to a parliamentary question from Mr Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC).

The Worker’s Party MP had asked about the Government’s plan to balance the cost considerations and demand for such facilities.

Mr Lee disclosed that about 15,000 people are staying in these hotels currently, and this figure changes depending on the Covid-19 situation, Singapore’s border control policies and other factors.

He added that his ministry works with other ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Manpower and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to match the supply of SHN facilities with expected demand.

A key consideration is ensuring that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate Singaporeans who are welcome to return home any time, he said, adding that “the contracts for facilities will be renewed, so long as they continue to be needed to manage the risk of imported cases”.

Most travellers entering Singapore are required to isolate themselves for a period, which can be spent in dedicated facilities or personal residences, depending on the individual’s travel histories. Since Jan 1 this year, all incoming travellers have had to pay for their stay at hotels serving as SHN facilities.

Mr Lee said the Government will continue to monitor the evolving Covid-19 situation closely and adjust the capacity of these dedicated SHN facilities accordingly.

Separately, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in a written reply to a parliamentary question by Mr Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC) that of the 96,000 Singapore residents and 177,000 foreigners who arrived in Singapore between July 1 and Dec 31 last year, 405 and 1,179 respectively had tested positive for Covid-19.

Giving a breakdown of the numbers, he said the Singapore residents were made up of about 64,000 citizens and 32,000 permanent residents, of whom 191 and 214 had tested positive for the disease respectively.

The foreigners, meanwhile, include about 14,000 foreign domestic workers and 28,000 work permit holders, of whom 440 and 147 tested positive respectively.

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