The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be providing two floating accommodations used in offshore and marine work to house healthy foreign workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two facilities, the Bibby Progress and The Floatel Triumph, are now parked in a restricted area in the Tanjong Pagar Terminal, and are being readied to start welcoming workers whose occupation has been affected by lockdown measures as of this week.
Each facility can accommodate up to 500 people and the measure is being introduced to curb the spread of the virus.
The project is a result of the MPA Singapore’s collaboration with terminal operator PSA Singapore, Keppel Offshore & Marine shipyard, Bibby Maritime Limited and The Ascott Limited.
“Healthy workers to be moved to army camps, floating hotels,” Singapore’s Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said last week after a major spike in infection numbers linked to foreign worker dormitories.
The conditions in the dormitories do not meet the social distancing requirements due to close proximity of beds and shared facilities, and as such provide a breeding ground for the virus.
The port authority said that all foreign workers would have to go through the necessary health checks including swab tests before boarding the floating accommodations.
In line with the Elevated Safe Distancing Measures put in place for the whole of Singapore, the workers will also have to follow strict public health measures set out by Ministry of Health, such as minimising interaction with other occupants.
“The essential needs of the occupants, including the delivery of catered meals, will be taken care of.A medical facility, manned by nurses and doctors from Fullerton Healthcare, will be set up nearby on land, to ensure that medical support is available.
Isolation facilities will also be set up,” MPA Singapore said.
“The floating accommodations will also tap on the multi-agency Forward Assurance Support Teams supporting dormitories under the Ministry of Manpower for additional assistance should the need arise.”
Until now, Singapore has reported 2,532 COVID-19 cases and eight deaths.
In order to curb the spread of the virus, Singapore has shut down schools, banned social gatherings and closed all non-essential services.
The Port of Singapore remains open as it is providing the essential flow of cargo, food, and medicine.