The Asian country Singapore is planning to test all the 323,000 migrant workers who are living in the cramped dormitories which have become a hotbed for the coronavirus or COVID-19 in the city-state, it mentioned on Tuesday while aiming to ease the curbs next month to restart the economy.
The tally in the island-state rose to 24,671 infections which is one of the highest in Asia as the world continues to grapple to fight the deadly novel virus outbreak. "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," said health minister Gan Kim Yong.
Singapore aims to ease Coronavirus restrictions
Infections in the dormitories had "stabilised", added Gan, who is co-chair of Singapore's virus fighting taskforce, with the daily average having fallen to about 700 in the past week from more than 1,000 in late April. But he cautioned that infection rates would stay high as testing was ramped up.
About 32,000 of those living in dormitories have been tested, said Lawrence Wong, also a taskforce co-chair, adding that several weeks would be required to test all the workers. Some businesses, such as hairdressers, laundry services and pet suppliers, re-opened on Tuesday, but most workplaces and schools remain closed and dining at restaurants is banned under Singapore's virus measures due to run until June 1.
(With agency inputs)