Covid-19 in the Dormitories : Let’s Do it Right

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Covid-19 in the Dormitories 

 

On 6 April, the government gazetted 2 foreign worker dormitories as “isolation areas” to quarantine about 20,000 foreign workers. This is after 2 large clusters were found at the S11 Dormitory in Punggol and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory.

 

I am worried about the breakout of Covid19 in workers dorms. In congested living quarters, the spread can spike very quickly. 12-20 men are housed closely in each room. Workers share toilets and eating areas.

 

How will they break the chain of infection if they cannot practice social distancing and observe Covid-fighting hygiene habits like frequent hand washing?

 

Dormitory infection must be managed swiftly. As a doctor, I would suggest this:

 

(1) Test all workers in these dorms.

 

(2) Separate the sick from the rest. Isolate Covid positive cases in the dormitory for observation, medical checks and refer to hospital if necessary. We know that the virus can survive for quite some time on surfaces, so these dormitories will also need to be specially disinfected.

 

(3) Send those tested negative to another holding location. This is to cut the chain of infection and give them peace of mind. In addition to the Singapore Expo, use our sports stadiums and erect temporary living quarters on the open fields. There are reasonable washing facilities at these stadiums. With increased space, they can also practice social distancing and good hygiene like hand washing. During this period, let them observe a form of Stay Home Notice in our stadiums. Stand -alone stadiums are isolated from other people and it is a cleaner way to monitor movements and control the spread.

 

I am suggesting this because we must look after these 20,000 foreign workers and assure them that Singapore can look after them. It is the decent thing to do.

 

Furthermore, another dormitory, Toh Guan Dormitory, has also been declared an isolation area. Let’s act quickly and decisively to stop the disease from spreading amongst them. We must do what is right.

 

 

 

宿舍里的新冠状病毒(Covid-19)

 

政府于4月6日颁布宪报把两个客工宿舍划为“隔离区”,隔离检疫约两万名客工。这措施是在发现S11榜鹅宿舍和卓源东路Westlite宿舍的感染群后实施的。

 

我非常担心新冠状病毒在客工宿舍里爆发. 住在拥挤的居住区,病毒的传播速度可以是非常快的。

每间拥挤的房间里住着12到20名客工。厕所和就餐区都是公用的。

 

如果他们无法有效地保持安全距离和遵守勤洗手等与冠状病毒作战的良好卫生习惯,他们将如何切断感染链呢?

 

宿舍内的感染情况必须迅速的得到处理。作为一名医生,我建议:

 

  1. 检测这些宿舍里的所有客工。

 

  1. 将病人与其他人分开。隔离新冠状病毒呈阳性的病例以进行观察,医药检查,并在必要时转接到医院。我们知道病毒可以在表面上存活相当长的时间,因此也需要对这些宿舍进行特别的消毒处理。

 

  1. 将那些被检测为阴性的客工们送到另一个安全隔离区。这是为了切断感染链,好让他们放心。除了新加坡博览中心以外,还可以使用各个体育场并在空地上搭建临时居住区。这些体育场已有良好与充足的浴室和梳洗设施。随着空间的增加,他们还可以遵守安全距离和勤洗手等良好的卫生习惯。在这段期间,让他们在体育场内遵守具居家隔离的形式。独立的体育场远离民众,这也是个比较简洁的方式让有关当局进行监督,管控人流和控制疫情传播。

 

 

我提这建议是因为我们一定要照顾这两万名客工并向他们承诺新加坡会照顾他们的。这是一件我们应该做的事。

 

此外, 另一家客工宿舍,卓源路客工宿舍,也被列为隔离区。让我们迅速和果断地采取行动,阻止这病毒在其中传播。我们必须做出正确的决定。

 

 

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