Singapore – As Covid-19 confirmed cases continue to rise among foreign worker dormitories, members of the public question the efficiency of control measures being applied.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 908 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday (August 5), the highest figure since May 1. A total of 903 came from work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. According to MOH, the high number of cases was due to the ongoing clearance of dormitories. “The vast majority are dormitory residents who were tested during their isolation/quarantine period, even though they are asymptomatic,” said MOH. “They are among the final batch of workers being cleared, and they come from dormitories with a relatively high prevalence of COVID-19.” The ministry noted that it is expected for the daily case counts to remain high for the coming days, before tapering down as the Multi-Ministry Task Force for Covid-19 completes dormitory clearance.
Furthermore, the task force said they were “on track” with clearing all dormitories by Friday (August 7), “except for a few standalone blocks in the dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities.” Currently, there are about 9,700 foreign workers in the quarantine facilities, reported channelnewsasia.com.
“They will have to serve out their 14-day isolation periods, and be subject to an exit test before they are able to resume work,” said MOH.
Members of the public wondered why numbers were still in the three digits after months of testing. Meanwhile, Facebook user Viv-Vien noted Singapore had over 300 thousand foreign workers. “Surely, we cannot test all in just a few weeks.” Another netizen used China as an example when it came to the pace of testing being done.
“Every day, the same reason. All from dormitories. The report is always like cut and paste,” commented Facebook user Kenneth who cited other countries were imposing new lockdowns due to a second wave of Covid-19 transmissions while the Singapore government is lifting restrictions. Others requested the task force to shed some clarification on the situation and to reassure the public. “Simple gesture also cannot,” said Facebook user Jerone Tan. “How many tests were conducted yesterday? Have they been under-testing over the past few months? What was the average positive rate among those tested?” asked Facebook user Au Kah Kay.
Netizens also sympathised with the foreign workers who have been isolated within the dormitories for months.