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New Covid-19 patient facility being set up at Tanjong Pagar Terminal

This article is more than 12 months old

Up to 15,000 patients and foreign workers can be housed at the upcoming location amid plans to ensure adequate space

A large facility being set up at Tanjong Pagar Terminal could house up to 15,000 Covid-19 patients and foreign workers, as the number of coronavirus cases here continues to increase, The Straits Times has learnt.

The structure is part of a "broader plan" to ensure adequate space to meet future demand, a Ministry of National Development spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.

This includes facilities for workers who are suspected Covid-19 cases, or are infected, recovering or have fully recovered.

Over the last few days, regular visits to the site have shown large marquees being set up with cherry pickers in the area. There are also multiple rows of cars.

Trucks carrying building materials could be seen entering the terminal which has been vacant since port operations were relocated to Pasir Panjang Terminal. As of Wednesday, at least five or six rows of tents had been set up at the terminal.

Much of the terminal's operations were moved out as early as 2017, as part of plans for a future mega port.

Over the last few weeks, the Government has been preparing various locations to house healthy foreign workers or to convert spaces into community isolation sites.

The community facilities are meant to house recovering Covid-19 patients and those with milder symptoms, and include Singapore Expo, D'Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris and Changi Exhibition Centre (CEC). D'Resort was the first isolation facility and can take up to 500 people.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on April 14 the two halls at Singapore Expo currently used to house patients have a total capacity of about 950, and that four other halls at the venue will open progressively.

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean shared in a Facebook post on April 16 that the CEC was being converted. The 33,000 sq m space will be able to accommodate up to 2,800 patients.

About 4,500 bedding items ordered by Temasek Foundation have been delivered to Singapore from Indonesia to cater for the community isolation facilities. The authorities are also thinning out the packed dormitories where foreign workers reside, to better manage the situation.

Some 10,000 healthy foreign workers in essential services living in purpose-built dormitories have been moved into alternative living areas, such as military camps, floating hotels and vacant Housing Board blocks.

Cruise ships are also being considered to house the workers. One such ship is the SuperStar Gemini, currently berthed at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore near the Tanjong Pagar Terminal site. Another ship is the SuperStar Aquarius. Both are mid-sized cruise ships operated by Genting Cruise Lines.