Spike in Covid-19 Cases in Singapore Due to Extensive Testing of Foreign Workers: Health Ministry

Representative image. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Representative image. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Out of the majority of the new cases, 1,369 are work permit holders or foreigners, including Indian nationals, living in foreign workers' dormitories, it said.

Singapore: The 1,426 new coronavirus cases reported in Singapore on Monday were due to the extensive testing of foreign workers, including Indians, lodged in dormitories, considered as hotspots for Covid-19 infections in the country, the health ministry said.

Out of the vast majority of the new cases, 1,369 are work permit holders or foreigners, including Indian nationals, living in foreign workers' dormitories, it said.

"The main increase today continues to be for work permit holders residing in dormitories, where we are picking up many more cases because of extensive testing," the ministry said.

"These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive," the Ministry stressed.

Most of them have a mild illness and are being monitored in community isolation facilities or general wards. None are in the intensive care unit, said the Ministry.

With the latest counted cases on Monday, Singapore has now a total of 8,014 coronavirus infections.

Twenty-three of 3,420 confirmed cases in hospital are in intensive care unit. Others are stable or improving. Of the others, 3,782 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Eleven have died from complications due to the Covid-19 infection. Thirty-three cases were discharged from hospital on Monday. In all, 801 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

The number of new cases among work permit holders, or foreigners working here but living outside the dormitories, has continued to increase, with 32 such cases reported.

These cases have gone up from an average of 13 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 24 per day in the past week, the ministry said.

Within the local community, there are 25 cases, comprising 18 Singaporeans and permanent residents and seven work pass holders, who are also foreigners here.

The number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of 39 cases per day in the week before to an average of 29 per day in the past week, said MOH.

Singapore is now the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia, surpassing coronavirus cases in Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a report by the Channel News Asia on Monday.

Topping the list was S11 Dormitory for foreign workers, which saw 469 additional cases linked to it, taking its total to 1,977.

Twenty additional cases were linked to dormitory, Sungei Tengah Lodge, taking its total to 540 cases.

A total of 203 additional cases were linked to Tuas View Dormitory, which now has a total of 460 cases. A total of 18 foreign worker dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas, as the number of COVID-19 cases there continues to rise.

All work permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction sector have been placed on mandatory stay-home notices until May 4 as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19.

The next few days are a critical period that will determine whether circuit breaker measures can be eased on May 4, 2020, infectious disease experts told The Straits Times on Monday.

The measures, such as closing of schools and non-essential businesses, are to control the spread of Covid-19.

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