Ensuring smooth inflow of Migrant Workers from Bangladesh and India

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Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the Construction, Maritime & Processing (CMP) sectors have been severely impacted by restrictions on the inflow of migrant workers (MWs).

To ensure a smooth MW inflow and safety from Bangladesh to Singapore, Fullerton Health partnered Bangladesh’s Beximco Group and Novus Clinical Research Services Ltd to provide a one-stop, end-to-end travel bubble mitigating public health risk for employers in the CMP sector.

Launched on 9 September 2021, the NOVUS Testing & Quarantine Facility (TQF) has the capability and capacity to handle more than 4,000 MWs per month. Manned by a dedicated 200 strong on-site staff and supported by an onsite operational and clinical consultation team from Fullerton Health, the facility operates based on the stringent Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines from the Singapore government.

MWs undergoing tests and health screening at the NOVUS TQF

Through this facility, MWs from Bangladesh will be brought into Singapore in a “calibrated and seamless manner” for employers. Essential and value-added services such as application of Entry Approvals, booking of flight tickets and food and accommodation are all included.

Over in Chennai, India, a Pre-departure Preparatory Program (PDPP) is also underway, which provides an end-to-end solution for employers to safely bring in Work Permit Holders holding in-principle approvals from India to Singapore. This is an industry-led programme sponsored by the Association of Process Industry (ASPRI), delivered by Fullerton Health and HealthSpring, our local partner in India.

MWs undergoing tests and health screening at the NOVUS TQF

The programme aims to integrate overseas training, testing and on-boarding process with Singapore’s on-arrival testing and SHN requirements. Once the workers arrive in Singapore, they are then subject to prevailing health protocols and safe management measures.

Importance of a tightened end-to-end process to bring in migrant workers safely.

Even as businesses continue in their efforts to boost productivity, they still need access to manpower.

According to Dr Faizal Kassim, Medical Director of Clinical Services (SG) at Fullerton Health, who is concurrently the Director of the TQF project, believes that both facilities will continue to play a crucial role.

The Fullerton Health team at NOVUS TQF

He said: “Employers in the CMP sectors contribute to the development of infrastructure, as well as construction and maintenance of such infrastructures, which support our economy to enable Singapore to be recognised globally as a leader in these fields. However, the labour crunch due to the pandemic has resulted in project delays and significant labour cost increase, which in turn affect the viability of businesses”.

“Besides delays in housing and infrastructure projects which have implications on homeowners and Singaporeans, there are implications on Singapore’s global competitiveness, credibility of our businesses and locals employed in these sectors when projects are not delivered on time or terminated,” he added.

For more information, visit https://www.fullertonhealth.com/sg/services/tqf-dhaka-bangladesh/

And https://www.fullertonhealth.com/sg/services/pdpp-chennai-india/