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09 Feb 2020  (951 Views) 
Ministry of Health

Use hotels for quarantine
30,000 workers from China will be returning to Singapore after the Chinese New Year holidays. Some of them may be infected with the coronavirus.

The govt has decided that they should be placed under 14 days leave of absence. This is probably due to the lack of accommodation to place so many people under state supervised quarantine.

The workers are required to stay at home during the 14 day quarantine period. This cause the following problems:

a) Some of them shared rooms with other workers. The room cannot accommodate so many workers staying at home.
b) Where the tenant rents a room from a family, the landlord may not like the quarantine worker to stay at home, as he may infect the family members
c) It is difficult to monitor the health of the quarantined worker who may not observe the quarantine conditions.

I suggest the following measure:

a) The govt should rent rooms from hotels to accommodate the workers on quarantine. This will provide income to the hotels who are suffering from a drop in occupancy. They can set aside several floors of the hotel to be used as quarantine centers, at a discounted rate to the govt.

b) The govt can provide workers to carry out daily temperature checks on the quarantined workers and to check the observance of the quarantine conditions. These workers can be recruited and trained quickly to carry ou the duties. It will create jobs for workers who are affected by the business slump. The specially trained workers can do their jobs better than the quarantined workers or their landlords.

This will incur cost to the govt, but it is a good way to save the population from the risk of the spread of the disease, and help the hotels, workers and businesses that are suffering from the business slump.

Ministers - I hope you are listening. Please act quickly.

Tan Kin Lian

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