Meal times staggered, & more people managing crowd at Changi Exhibition Centre Covid-19 facility

The situation has improved since last week when the crowd was filmed during the distribution of afternoon snacks.

Zhangxin Zheng| May 18, 08:28 PM

A video showing a large crowd of Covid-19 patients at Changi Exhibition Centre has sparked some concerns.

The video has apparently been circulating since around May 18.

The Changi Exhibition Centre is a community care facility where Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms are residing at. It has a targeted capacity of up to 4,400 patients and is currently housing over 2,600 Covid-19 positive migrant workers.

What does the video show?

The video shows a large number of foreign workers milling about at one part of the facility, the area near C3 and C4.

Food distribution robots are sighted in the vicinity and some patients, walking away from the crowd, are holding onto a box-like item in their hands.

Screenshot of video

Most of the patients have their masks on while a few are spotted without masks.

Two queues can be spotted in the video on the other side of the room.

A number of viral Facebook posts as well as WhatsApp videos providing varying background info regarding the video has surfaced.

Queue management has improved

In response to queries from Mothership, the managing agent of CEC community care facility, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, said that they are aware of the video which shows the food queues at CEC during the distribution of afternoon snack on May 10.

Mandarin Oriental also responded to concerns regarding the crowd, saying that the workers "are all Covid-19 positive" and "do not pose risks to one another".

The queues for snacks were orderly in the facility except for this section of around 300 migrant workers, Mandarin Oriental clarified.

However, Mandarin Oriental has been working with the migrant workers on the need to maintain orderly queues and have improved the queue management by deploying more personnel and having volunteers to assist with meal distribution and crowd management.

In addition, meal timings have also been staggered by sectors to reduce crowding at the meal collection area.

The situation has improved significantly and is generally stable, the statement added.

Here's the queue situation on May 12:

Video from Mandarin Oriental.

Here's the queue on May 14:

Video from Mandarin Oriental.

Here's the full statement by Mandarin Oriental:

"We are aware of the video of food queues at the Changi Exhibition Centre (CEC) Community Care Facility (CCF) that is circulating online. We would like to clarify that this video was taken over a week ago on 10 May. The CEC facility currently looks after over 2600 COVID-19 positive migrant worker patients.

We can understand the concern that some have expressed about the occupants coming into close proximity with each other. As they are all COVID-19 positive, they do not pose risks to one another. During the distribution for afternoon snack, the queues were orderly except for this section of around 300 migrant workers.

We have nevertheless sought to work with the migrant workers on the need to maintain orderly queues, and enhanced measures to improve queue management by deploying more personnel and having volunteers among the migrant workers to assist with meal distribution and crowd management. In addition, we have implemented staggered meal timings by sectors to reduce crowding at the meal collection area.

The situation has improved significantly and is generally stable.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for supporting our frontline workers who have made personal sacrifices to care for COVID-19 patients. We would also like to thank our community partners from the private and public sectors as well as members of the public who have stepped forward to offer support at the CEC CCF.

We have been receiving donations such as snacks, clothes and blankets, and have benefited from volunteers who have been assisting us with translation work. We look forward to receiving such continued societal support as we battle COVID-19 as one united nation."

Image from WhatsApp and Mandarin Oriental