Workers at Jurong dorm allege neglect and lack of medical care
The Straits Times|October 15, 2021
Sembcorp Marine, operator say dorm has been observing Covid-19 protocols
David Sun and Dominic Low

A scene of chaos and neglect has emerged at a newly built foreign worker dormitory in Jurong, with residents alleging poor living conditions and a lack of timely access to medical help for Covid-19.

Photos and videos of workers at the Westlite Jalan Tukang dorm voicing their frustrations with how they are being treated have been uploaded on multiple online platforms since Tuesday.

Workers there said they were not given proper access to medical support, and were not properly isolated.

About a quarter of the 2,000 workers staying in the dorm have reportedly tested positive for Covid-19, workers told a WeChatbased news portal.

But Sembcorp Marine, which employs a large number of the workers, and the dorm’s operator Westlite Accommodation said yesterday that the dorm has been observing Covid-19 protocols.

The situation reached a tipping point on Wednesday, when residents gathered en masse to confront the dormitory’s management. Riot police were also called in that afternoon.

Photos that have surfaced online showed workers believed to have Covid-19 infection sleeping at the corridors and walkways outside the dorm rooms. They allegedly did so to prevent their roommates from catching the virus, as no one came to isolate them while they awaited medical care.

A resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Ren, 41, told The Straits Times that residents have been frustrated with the lack of medical assistance.

“(The dormitory management) does not care about those who are sick – these men had been sick for about seven or eight days,” he said.

“Their fever had gotten very high, and we had to make noise about it before anything was done.”

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