Singapore quarantines 20,000 migrant workers


Singapore–Singapore has told 20,000 foreign workers, a lot of them from South Asia, to stay in their dormitories for 14 days as coronavirus cases surge in the city state, it was reported on Monday.

Two places are being sealed off – the S11 Dormitory at Punggol and the smaller Westlite Toh Guan dormitory, the BBC said in a report.

One has 13,000 workers and 63 cases, and smaller dormitory with 6,800 workers and 28 cases.

The two dormitories are typically home to men from South Asia who work in construction.

In a statement, the government said cases in the dormitories were rising, and that isolation would “keep the workers safe (and) protect the wider community from widespread transmission”.

Workers have been banned from leaving their blocks, and have been told not to mix with people who don’t live in their room or floor.

The government added that workers will get their salaries, and their employers are entitled to claim S$100 a day ($67) to cover their wages.

They will get three meals a day, plus masks, hand sanitisers, and thermometers. Temperatures must be recorded twice a day and there will be “on site medical support”.

Singapore has recorded more than 1,300 cases and six deaths, the BBC reported.

Although most cases were initially imported, local transmission was rising and on Sunday, 120 new cases were confirmed – the highest daily rise so far.

Some 5.7 million people live in Singapore, of which 1.4 million are foreign workers.

Of the foreign workers, 284,000 are there under “construction work permits”.

Employers can apply for construction permits for workers from 12 places, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. (IANS)


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