Coronavirus: Singapore told Bangladeshi workers to stay away from work

Coronavirus: Singapore told Bangladeshi workers to stay away from work

Agency News

SINGAPORE - Many workers at a Kaki Bukit dormitory where a Bangladeshi worker infected with the coronavirus was housed were told to stay away from work by their employers on Monday (Feb 10) amid fears that they too could become sick and infectious.

But the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in an update on Monday evening that there is no need to do so. Those who had come into close contact with the Bangladeshi worker have been quarantined, MOM and the Ministry of Health (MOH) told the Singapore Contractors Association on the same day. On Monday morning, truckloads of workers from The Leo dormitory were sent back to the dormitory when they turned up at worksites.

The 39-year-old Bangladeshi work pass holder was Singapore's 42nd case of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Health said on Sunday he tested positive for the virus a day earlier, and is now in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

MOH has, in the past two days, issued quarantine orders to the worker’s 10 roommates, eight people who took the same company transport he does, and a project manager at the worksite.

The ministry also assessed that the risk to the rest of the residents in the dormitory is low. The infected Bangladeshi worker’s symptoms first surfaced on Feb 1, and he went to a GP clinic on Feb 3, and Changi General Hospital on Feb 5. He was admitted to the intensive care unit at Changi General Hospital after a follow-up appointment at Bedok Polyclinic on Feb 7.

Before being admitted to hospital, he visited Mustafa Centre in Little India. MOM said in an update on Monday that, according to preliminary checks, the employer of the worker had acted responsibly, disseminating information promptly to its workers and helping the sick worker seek medical attention.

He was also kept away from the workplace when he was on medical leave, MOM said, and this limited his contact with others. The Leo dormitory, where the worker lived, was last inspected by MOM on Sept 27 last year and conditions were found to be satisfactory. Subsequent checks by MOM on Jan 30 and Feb 10 showed that cleaning of common areas has been stepped up from once to two times every day.