A Singapore minister sent a video message in Tamil and Bengali to the migrant workers from India to assuage their concerns over the ongoing health crisis. Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran explained them, in Tamil, the need for testing the work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.
Iswaran reportedly said in the video message, sent to workers via WhatsApp, that the government has undertaken numerous efforts to enhance the quality of food and facilities within their dormitories. The message was also dubbed in Bengali and was sent on May 5, the first day of extended lockdown measures.
Singapore has reported nearly 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 18 deaths due to the infection. Ministry of Health announced that an additional 632 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in Singapore out of which vast majority are Work Permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. The ministry added that only nine cases are related to Singaporeans and permanent residents.
According to media reports, Iswaran promised the workers that the government will provide them and their friends all the necessary quality medical care that too fully paid. He also told the workers that the government had approached Indian celebrities including Rajnikanth and Sachin Tendulkar to encourage the workers with their message.
The ministry had said in a statement that they continue to detect many more cases amongst Work Permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises. As of May 4, more than 5 per cent of the migrant workers living in dormitories have tested positive for the coronavirus, among whom many are Indian nationals.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked to Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and exchanged views on the evolving situation of coronavirus pandemic. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said that he thanked Hsien Loong for the support extended by Singapore to Indian citizens during the health crisis.