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The Big Read: A year after the first COVID-19 outbreak in dorms, how has life changed for foreign workers?

Channel News Asia, Singapore, 29 March 2021 - On most days, Mr Al Amin, a foreign worker who hails from Bangladesh, leaves for work at 7am and returns to his dormitory room at around 8pm.

He spends his remaining waking hours doing chores such as laundry and cooking dinner. He then catches up with his family back home over the phone before calling it a night.

The 27-year-old’s routine is a far cry from his “independent” lifestyle in pre-pandemic days.

“Before COVID-19, we could go out to the shops or the field and spend our time there ... But now, we come back from work and just stay in our rooms.”

“That’s why I say nowadays staying in a dormitory is like being in jail and does not feel like a resident,” said the technician who stays at ASPRI-Westlite Papan dormitory in Jurong East.

For others, such as fellow Bangladeshi Mr Miraz (not his real name) who stays in Jurong Penjuru dormitory, it is the boredom that is hard to beat.

“We cannot use the gym or go downstairs. I cannot meet my friends to talk. Even though there is a lake just in front of the dormitory, we cannot even go there to sit,” said the 29-year-old site supervisor who did not want to give his real name for fear of getting into trouble with his employer and dormitory operator.

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Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/the-big-read-covid-19-outbreak-dormitories-foreign-workers-14504974

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