Singapore – News of recovered foreign workers (FWs) returning to their virus-free dormitories has received negative remarks from members of the online community because the FWs noted they were still overcrowded in a room. However, many called for compassion and empathy to be extended towards their situation.
According to a todayonline.com report on Saturday (June 13), 90 dormitories have been confirmed Covid-19-free and house 55,000 foreign workers who have returned from various isolation centres, as of June 9. Although they have to follow strict isolation measures, the FWs noticed improvements in living conditions such as the premises being cleaner. However, overcrowding in the rooms continue to be a problem, they added.
“One room has ten people just like before. It really doesn’t give us much space to keep a distance from each other. I would prefer if there were only six to seven people in each room instead. In the isolation facilities, they let us stay in one room. Even if we shared it was two to three people, so we had our space and freedom,” said 27-year-old Mr Kuttiyandi Dinesh, who spent 32 days at Singapore Expo before returning to his dormitory at Westlite Toh Guan.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Mr Hemaitul Kabir tested negative twice for the virus before returning to Kian Teck Dormitory and now stays in a room with 14 people. There were only nine workers per room previously. He shared that their employer would be the one coordinating the lease of a room for their workers and ensured they were not overcrowded. “But now, the dorm operators are in-charge of shifting us into this block, so they are putting more people in one room to fill all the beds,” said Mr Hemaitul.
He mentioned that each room typically had seven bunk beds and suggested reducing the number to promote proper distancing. Mr Hemaitul added that the rooms were “very clean” and the dorm operator, along with the security personnel, would strictly enforce safety measures.
Members of the online community reacted to the news, with quite a number commenting negatively to the responses of the foreign workers. They perceived the FWs as “ungrateful” and “taking things for granted.” A few suggested the FWs go back to their hometowns if all they could do was complain.
However, a majority understood where the workers were coming from and urged others to be more compassionate and extend some empathy. “We are the same people who complain constantly yet so quick to shoot and judge others,” said Shawn Russmen. He also wondered if people read the entire article because it showed that the FWs were worried about the possibility of a second wave with the number of people staying in one room.
“After all he’s been through with the Covid issue, I’m sure he still has lingering doubts about the safety of the dorms and the safety of himself,” said Muhammad Fikri Bin Rohaizan. Meanwhile, Yu Ting Mak apologised to all the FWs reading the terrible comments and reassured them that not all Singaporeans think the same way. “You deserve to stay in better environments that are not as crowded, and that offers more privacy.”