Migrant workers living in dormitories across Singapore have become the source of increasing coronavirus cases in the past few weeks. According to reports, Singapore on April 18 recorded 942 new coronavirus cases linked to congested dormitories. Authorities are reportedly moving healthy workers to Army camps, vacant public housing blocks and accommodation vessels, known as floating hotels. Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan announced the plan last week in a Facebook post.
As per reports, only 14 out of the 942 detected cases are Singaporeans and permanent residents, rest all are migrants. If reports are to be believed, around 3,00,000 low-wage workers mostly from South Asian countries work in the City-State in the construction and maintenance sector. The Ministry of Health said that 13 of such dormitories where COVID-19 clusters have been found are gazetted as an isolation area to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to data by Worldometer, Singapore has recorded 6,588 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, of which eleven people have lost their lives with 23 of them under critical condition. There are currently 5,837 active cases in the country, while 740 patients have been treated successfully. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on April 3 announced closure of schools and non-essential businesses for one month in order to prevent the spread to the virus.
The coronavirus outbreak has infected over 2.35 million people globally and has killed nearly 1,61,000 patients since it first broke out in December 2019. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Currently, the United States, Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom are the most affected countries in the world with a recorded death toll of 15,000 and above.
(Image Credit: AP)