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All dorms cleared of Covid-19 by Ministry of Manpower as of Aug 11

SINGAPORE – All dormitories, with the exception of 17 blocks in six purpose-built dormitories which serve as quarantine facilities, have been declared to be clear of the coronavirus by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) as of Tuesday (Aug 11).

This brings to a close a four-month long effort by the authorities since a number of dormitories were first gazetted as isolation areas in April.

With the latest clearance, four in five, or 315,000 workers in the construction, marine and process sectors – which have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus – have been given the green light to resume work.

This is compared to the 68 per cent, or 265,000 workers, in these sectors who had been given approval to start work last week, on Aug 4.

Most of the others will also be able to do so once dormitory operators, employers and the workers themselves fulfil additional conditions, including having workers download the TraceTogether app to facilitate contact tracing.

Some 22,500 workers remain in Government quarantine facilities and the 17 blocks.

MOM’s announcement comes four days after all 323,000 migrant workers in dorms have been tested for Covid-19 on Aug 7, with about nine in 10 workers having recovered or been found to be free of the coronavirus as of last week.

There are 43 purpose-built dorms in Singapore housing about 200,000 workers, and about 1,200 smaller factory-converted dorms. There are also smaller construction temporary quarters or temporary living quarters.

Earlier on Tuesday, however, the MOM, together with other agencies, noted that fresh infections in cleared dorms continue to surface and said they were monitoring the situation to manage potential outbreaks.

On Tuesday, there were 56 new cases in dormitories announced.

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