Over 1,000 more foreign workers in Singapore test positive for COVID-19

PTI, Apr 23, 2020, 3:46 PM IST

Singapore: Battling the second-wave of coronavirus infections, Singapore on Thursday, April 23 reported 1,037 new COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 of which are foreign workers, including Indian nationals, mostly working in labor-intensive industries and living in packed dormitories.

This is the fourth day in a row that Singapore has reported a daily increase of more than 1,000 cases.

Twenty-one of the new cases recorded on Thursday is Singaporeans (citizens) or permanent residents who are also foreigners.

The city-state has recorded a total of 11,178 coronavirus infections since the deadly disease broke out here earlier this year. Twelve people have died of COVID-19 related illnesses.

The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories for foreign workers, the Ministry of Health said in its preliminary release of figures.

“We are still working through the details of the cases, and further updates will be shared via the press release that will be issued tonight,” the ministry said.

As of Wednesday, about 2.51 percent of the 323,000 migrant workers living in dormitories have tested positive, much higher than the prevalence rate of 0.061 percent among the 664,000 workers not living in dormitories and 0.023 percent in the community, according to a report by The Straits Times.

Most of the migrant (foreign) workers who are infected have mild symptoms and none of them is in intensive care.

Twenty-one dormitories, housing most of the foreign workers, including Indian nationals, have been declared as isolation areas with workers at these lodgings quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.

The city-state managed to keep its outbreak in check in the early stages due to widespread testing and contact-tracing but is facing a fast-moving second wave of infections.

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