SINGAPORE: Eleven workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at Westlite Woodlands dormitory on Wednesday (Apr 21) – the largest number of infections in the migrant worker dormitories in months.

A letter from Westlite Woodlands to its clients, seen by CNA, said that 11 of the residents at the dormitory were confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.

“These 11 COVID-19 positive residents are Recovered Workers, and are in addition to the one resident who had been vaccinated and subsequently reported positive on 19th April 2021 (Monday) from Rostered Routine Testing,” said the letter signed by the dormitory’s manager.

READ: Dormitory resident who completed full COVID-19 vaccination regimen among 14 new cases in Singapore

The results are from 568 tests carried out on Tuesday for residents from levels two to seven of Block A of the dormitory, located at 2 Woodlands Sector 2. 

The infected workers are being sent to the hospital or to a community care facility, said the letter.

The letter added that as a “precautionary measure”, all the residents from the block, which number more than 1,100, will be sent to a government quarantine facility (GQF) for 14 days.

“These residents will be recalled from work today and required to stay in their units at all times until they are decanted from the dormitory to GQF,” the letter dated Apr 21 said. 

“Employers need to arrange for meals to be delivered to their employees during this period of time until they are decanted to GQF.”

Swab tests will also be conducted on all the remaining residents in Block B of the dormitory.

WORKERS TO BE CHECKED FOR POSSIBLE RE-INFECTION

The 11 dormitory cases did not appear in the Ministry of Health’s case count on Wednesday, which said that there was one new community COVID-19 infection and 14 imported cases.

One of the infected workers is the roommate of the worker who tested positive on Apr 19, said the Ministry of Manpower in a press release on Wednesday night. 

As a close contact of the infected worker, he had already been quarantined.

The workers were immediately isolated and taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases to investigate for possible re-infection, added MOM.

READ: 1 community case among 15 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore

The first case from the Westlite Woodlands dormitory was reported and identified as Case 62181 on Apr 19.

The 35-year-old Bangladeshi is a construction supervisor who works at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard and is employed by Prosper Environmental & Engineering.

He had received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine a week earlier but was likely to have been infected before he could build up immunity, the Ministry of Health had said earlier.

EARLIER CLUSTER AT WESTLITE WOODLANDS

Westlite Woodlands dormitory had first reported a cluster of COVID-19 cases in April last year

That was when the coronavirus cases in the dormitories began to rise sharply, leading to lockdowns at many dormitories.

MOH said on Oct 11 last year that the Westlite Woodlands cluster was closed after no new cases were found there for 28 days.

There have been more than 54,000 COVID-19 cases detected in migrant worker dormitories since the start of the pandemic.

Although the numbers peaked in the middle of last year, cases in the dormitories have fallen dramatically and before Wednesday, there were only seven cases reported since Jan 1 this year.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 60,880 COVID-19 cases and 30 fatalities from the disease.

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