Larger living spaces, en-suite toilets among improved standards for all new migrant worker dormitories

Larger living spaces, en-suite toilets among improved standards for all new migrant worker dormitories

17/9/2021 11:24:00 AM

Larger living spaces, en-suite toilets among improved standards for all new migrant worker dormitories

The improved standards will 'strengthen resilience' against future pandemics, said the Manpower Ministry. More than 50,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in dormitories in Singapore since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

SINGAPORE: All new migrant worker dormitories will have to meet improved standards so as to"strengthen resilience" against future pandemics and"enhance liveability", the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Friday (Sep 17).These standards were developed by MOM, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) after COVID-19 infected tens of thousands of migrant workers living in dormitories.

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More than 50,000 COVID-19 cases in Singapore were recorded in dormitories since the start of the pandemic.The new standards include modular living, more spacious rooms, better ventilation in rooms and toilets and better early detection and isolation of unwell residents.

MOM and MND, as part of efforts to reduce density in the dormitories.Related:COVID-19: New migrant worker dorms step in the right direction, say support groups - but could more be done?MORE SPACIOUS ROOMS, BETTER VENTILATIONNew dormitories will be modular, with rooms outfitted with en-suite toilets. The rooms will be more spacious, with at least 4.2 sqm of living space per resident, up from 3.5 sqm, with beds spaced at least 1m apart.

All rooms will have Wi-Fi coverage and occupancy will be capped at 12. There was previously no cap on the number of residents per room, although most rooms had 12 to 16 residents"in practice", said MOM.Communal facilities, such as cooking, dining and laundry facilities, will now be segmented, with each section serving no more than 120 residents.

In addition, there will be at least one set of en-suite toilet, bathroom and sink per six residents, up from one set of common or en-suite toilet, bathroom, sink and urinal per 15 residents.Dormitory rooms and toilets will be better ventilated, and each toilet must have at least one exhaust. There must also be an"adequate number" of fans, reasonably spaced out throughout the room, to provide sufficient air circulation, said MOM.

Previously, ventilation was subjected to the Building and Construction Authority’s prevailing requirements for natural ventilation, such as requiring windows or openings to be at least 5 per cent of the floor area of the room.The Government will also improve early detection and quick isolation of unwell residents, with increased capacities at isolation facilities and requirements to carry out wastewater surveillance.

New dormitories will have at least 10 isolation beds per 1,000 bed spaces, compared to the current ratio of one isolation bed to 1,000 bed spaces.An additional 15 isolation beds per 1,000 bed spaces need to be stood up during pandemics, said MOM.There must also be a minimum of one power socket per sleeping area, and a"sufficient number" of power sockets in common areas is encouraged. There is currently no requirement for power sockets.

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The new standards will apply to all new dormitories, including purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories, construction temporary quarters and temporary occupation licence quarters.They will also apply to all new applications submitted on or after Saturday to relevant Government agencies for clearance to develop a dormitory.

"For existing dormitories, we are reviewing the improvements that are feasible within current built infrastructure constraints," said MOM.SITES AT KRANJI AND JALAN TUKANGTwo new purpose-built dormitories will be launched at Kranji and Jalan Tukang, to be completed in the next three years.

Together, they will provide at least 12,500 beds - the Kranji site will have at least 10,000 beds, while the Jalan Tukang site in Jurong will have about 2,500 beds.“To ensure the timely construction of (purpose-built dormitory) beds in the current economic climate, the Government will construct and own these dormitories, while the day-to-day operations will be managed by a dormitory operator,” said MOM in its press release.

Read more: CNA »

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Do you know if you are going to have to pay for it? Exploitation is an Art Should have done it earlier, right from the start, pls no empty talk tyvm I feel like they should have said... Because we took in the public advice that migrant workers are human beings and not caged animals...

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