tirsdag 21. april 2020

Singapore coronavirus outbreak surges with 3,000 new cases in three days

Singapore reported a record 1,426 new coronavirus cases on Monday, mostly among foreign workers, pushing its total number of confirmed infections to 8,014. The tiny city-state now has the highest number of cases in south-east Asia, a massive increase from just 200 infections on 15 March, when its outbreak appeared to be nearly under control. About 3,000 cases have been reported in just the past three days.

Low-wage migrant workers, a vital part of Singapore’s workforce, now account for at least 60% of its infections.More than 200,000 workers from Bangladesh, India and other poorer Asian countries live in tightly packed dormitories. Clusters of infections have expanded rapidly in the dorms after they were overlooked in the government’s earlier health measures.

Social distancing is impossible in the dormitories, which house up to 20 men per room with a shared kitchen, toilets and other facilities. Most work in construction, shipping and maintenance jobs. Over half of the 43 registered dormitories have reported active viral clusters. At least 18 of the dormitories were declared isolation areas where workers have been quarantined. Several thousand other workers have been moved to other locations to reduce crowding.