Singapore expects that all its foreign workers’ dormitories — which are home to many workers at leading industry contractors Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine — will be free of Covid-19 by the first week of August.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said that all such dormitories, except those currently in use as special quarantine facilities, are expected to be cleared of the coronavirus in less than a fortnight.

The Singapore authorities will soon start working closely with employers, including the city’s oil and gas industry contractors, to enable their workers to return and for operations to get back towards pre-lockdown levels.

Some 28,000 foreign workers living in dormitories are still serving out their isolation terms in accommodation earmarked for quarantine facilities.

These workers will have to undergo a final test for the coronavirus before being cleared to return to work.

If new infection clusters should arise, authorities in the island nation have pledged “swift action” to quarantine and test close contacts, carry out swab operations and suspend operations at workplaces if deemed necessary.

Seven such swab operations have already been carried out in recent months, including at Keppel Shipyard, local media reported.