Singapore plans coronavirus tests for all migrant workers as some businesses reopen
Singapore plans to test all 323,000 migrant workers living in cramped dormitories that have become a hotbed for coronavirus in the city-state, the government said on Tuesday. The island’s tally of 24,671 infections is one of Asia’s highest, with the vast majority of migrant workers squeezed into dormitories which are often unsanitary.
“The taskforce has drawn up a plan to allow migrant workers residing in the dormitories… to be progressively cleared so they can be safely returned to work when the time comes,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.
Infections in the dormitories had “stabilized,” Gan added, with the daily average having fallen to around 700 in the past week, down from more than 1,000 in late April. He cautioned that infection rates would stay high as testing was ramped up. Roughly 32,000 of those living in dormitories have been tested, said Lawrence Wong, also a taskforce co-chair, adding that it would take several weeks to test all the workers.
Some businesses in Singapore, such as hairdressers, laundry services and pet suppliers, reopened on Tuesday, but most workplaces and schools remain closed, and dining at restaurants is banned under virus measures due to run until June 1.