Certain troubles in the deployment of Covid-19 tests, isolation protocols at the dormitory of Jalan Tukang: president of MWC, Housing News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – A confluence of factors has delayed the movement of Covid-19 positive workers living in the Westlite Jalan Tukang dorm to off-site care and recovery facilities, the Migrant Wokers’ Center (MWC) said on Wednesday (October 20).
This included troubles in the deployment of new testing and isolation protocols, logistical and resource issues in transferring to care facilities and an unexpected spike in infections among dormitory residents, the chairman of the dormitory said. MWC, Yeo Guat Kwang, in a press release.
The statement came after a team from MWC, along with representatives from the Union of Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees, visited Jurong dormitory last Friday.
Mr Yeo said most workers’ concerns over the new safe management measures and Covid-19 testing and isolation protocols were resolved within the day after their situation was covered by local media on Thursday. latest.
New measures implemented in dormitories since the start of this month include that fully vaccinated workers who test positive for Covid-19 and show no symptoms should self-isolate and recover at a dedicated facility within their home. dormitory for up to 10 days, while workers with symptoms should undergo a polymerase chain reaction test and be referred to a community care facility or hospital depending on their condition.
Mr Yeo said workers MWC spoke to confirmed that authorities “quickly resolved the situation by working with the dormitory operator and employers to rectify the delays and restore order and stability to the dormitory. the dormitory”.
He added: “They also told us that since the improvements have been made, the process of transferring positive cases for Covid-19 has become faster, and they are hoping that the process will continue more smoothly.”
The dormitory was in the spotlight last week after reports of delays in sending workers with Covid-19 to healthcare facilities.
Things came to a head when workers gathered in droves to voice their frustrations last Wednesday and riot police were deployed in the area.
Mr Yeo said a team from MWC and representatives from the Union of Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees visited the dormitory to confirm that the issues raised were being addressed, to check on the physical and emotional condition. residents and to help them resolve any lingering or emerging issues related to employment or well-being.
Although many more have already been moved from the dormitory and many remaining residents have not returned from work at the time of the visit, they were able to engage with around 200 migrant workers.
During the visit, Yeo said he learned that some of the migrant workers did not understand the rationale and strategy behind the new safe management measures, testing and isolation protocols, which could have contributed to the confusion and disorder.
He added: “We have passed this on to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and are urgently working with them to strengthen communications and engagement, disseminate newly developed educational material, in video and in print, and translated into native languages, through our network of MWC Ambassadors (made up of senior migrant workers in the same workplaces and living spaces) and social media channels. “
Mr Yeo said that through ambassadors and other communication channels, including MWC’s 24-hour hotline, he would also monitor the situation regarding the implementation of the new protocols and immediately report any other irregularity or delay brought to the attention of MOM.
Photos of spoiled or insect-containing food given to workers were posted online, and Yeo said MWC understands authorities are investigating the matter.
He added that although they could not meet anyone who encountered such food, many workers they spoke to said there were sometimes issues with the speed and quantity of the meals they were given. provided before October 13, and new controls put in place by the authorities and employers have ensured that these issues have since been corrected.
The migrant workers had told the team that more could be done to ensure that the dishes prepared match the tastes and food preferences of workers, especially those from China.
Since those who come from China have a wide range of food preferences depending on their country of origin, My Yeo said that it can sometimes take a while to reach the optimal catering arrangements for them, and although it has explained to the workers, they were told that it was an effort that the employer must make properly.
“We reiterated to Chinese migrant workers that their employer is committed to devoting more attention and resources to developing the most optimal food preference solutions as soon as possible and reassured them that we would also continue to monitor the progress in that aspect, ”Mr. Yeah said.
Mr Yeo added that his team had learned that until the week before October 13, Chinese workers could make online purchases of more familiar Chinese sundries, groceries and rations that were impossible to obtain in the convenience store. on-site of the dormitory, which would be delivered to them in the dormitory and allow them to supplement their catering with more familiar dietary options.
The workers explained that these deliveries to the dormitory had been halted a week earlier, which ended this self-help option and accentuated the less than optimal catering situation.
MWC has asked employers and dorm management to restart deliveries to the dorm, and Mr. Yeo said dorm residents appreciate the return of this additional service.
Mr Yeo also said that the engagement also raised some concerns of some migrant workers regarding their working environment.
These have been recorded and sent to employers so that action can be taken to create a safer and more conducive working environment for all workers.
MWC did not specify what these concerns were.
“We understand that employers are implementing certain measures in response to our comments,” he said.
“As with the other feedback we have given to various stakeholders, we will also continue to monitor these new measures, as well as the sentiment and condition of migrant workers in response.”
Mr. Yeo also thanked the social organizations and businesses that stepped forward to donate sundries and provisions to workers, as well as members of the public for their care and concerns.
He said: “After visiting the dormitory to observe the mood and situation of the residents, as well as to directly dialogue with them, we can update that the situation has stabilized, the main concerns of the workers having also been addressed or in the process of being rectified.
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