Singapore reports 942 new coronavirus cases, mostly from foreign workforce dormitories 

Around 300,000 low-wage workers, mostly from South Asia, work in Singapore in construction and maintenance.

Published: 18th April 2020 04:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2020 04:14 PM   |  A+A-

Medical staff wearing Personal protective equipments wait for patients to be transferred to a temporary hospital as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Singapore. (Photo | AFP)


SINGAPORE: Singapore on Saturday reported a record of 942 new COVID-19 cases, a "vast majority" of them linked to packed dormitories that house foreign workers, including several Indian nationals.

Around 300,000 low-wage workers, mostly from South Asia, work in Singapore in construction and maintenance.

Most of them live together in huge dormitory complexes on the outskirts of the city they've helped build.

"We are still working through the details of the cases," said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

A large proportion of Singapore's COVID-19 cases can be traced to foreign worker dormitories, which have seen a surge in confirmed cases recently.

Thirteen of such dormitories have been gazetted as an isolation area to prevent the spread of the virus.

Only 14 of the new cases are Singaporeans and permanent residents.

The MOH on Friday also expressed concern over unlinked cases of COVID-19, saying that tests on a sample of individuals at primary care facilities have picked up several positive diagnoses, which indicate "undetected cases in the community".

"We are particularly concerned that it is increasingly difficult to link the new cases and identify the source of infection," said the ministry.

"In fact, the number of unlinked cases in the community has increased slightly, from an average of 19 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 22 per day in the past week."

The average number of new cases per day in the community dropped to 32 over the past week, from 40 the week before.

To date, 11 people have died from COVID-19 related complications in Singapore.


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