COVID-19: Two former school sites to be converted into temporary dorms for migrant workers who are well

The former site of Bedok North Secondary School.

 

SINGAPORE: The former Hong Kah Secondary School and Bedok North Secondary School sites are among “a number” of Ministry of Education (MOE) sites that will be used as temporary facilities to house migrant workers “who are well”, said the ministry on Friday (May 22).

To manage the sites, the Education Ministry has set up a Dormitory Task Force that comprises officers from MOE and Outward Bound Singapore (OBS).

“Each temporary dormitory will have a team of MOE or OBS officers to ensure that the basic needs, safety and well-being of the migrant workers are met,” said an MOE spokesperson in response to CNA queries.

“In addition, they ensure that health and safety protocols are adhered to, to mitigate the risk of transmission.”

Singapore has reported 29,812 COVID-19 cases to date, with the majority linked to migrant worker dormitories. Twenty-three patients have died from complications arising from COVID-19 infection.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced in April that migrant workers who were not sick and were working in essential services would be housed separately from those in dormitories, in a bid to curb the spread of the outbreak.

Military camps, Changi Exhibition Centre, vacant HDB flats and offshore floating lodging were among the sites identified as potential accommodation.

Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the Bedok North Secondary School site had been activated as a temporary dormitory for migrant workers who provide essential services.

He said he had spoken to the assigned dormitory manager for the site, who is part of the OBS team. The site was still being prepared, said Mr Singh, adding that workers would start moving in shortly.

The Bedok North Secondary School site has enough space for about 400 workers, he wrote.

While the workers are staying at the site, employers “will be made responsible” for their upkeep and will arrange for groceries where required, Mr Singh added.

The site, which sits at the junction of Jalan Damai and Kaki Bukit Avenue 1, has not been in use since Bedok North Secondary School merged with Damai Secondary School in 2018.

Earlier in May, the Singapore Land Authority announced that the former Ngee Ann Polytechnic staff apartments at 90, 92 and 94 Kismis Avenue and the former Nexus International School at 201 Ulu Pandan Road would be used to house healthy migrant workers in essential services.

The two sites have a capacity of up to 1,000 beds each.

Z24 News

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