Singapore announced on Monday a record number of more than 1,400 new cases of Covid-19, mostly detected in the homes of migrant workers in the city-state. The country had initially succeeded in containing the spread of the virus thanks to a very strict strategy of control and tracing of the contacts with the infected people. But it faces a second wave since the beginning of April.
Test campaigns in overcrowded homes
Health officials at the Southeast Asian financial center on Monday announced 1,426 new cases of people infected with Covid-19, bringing the total to 8,014 cases and 11 deaths.
The number of new cases has jumped across the country since test campaigns were launched in overcrowded homes where migrant workers live, often in unsanitary conditions. Singapore has some 200,000 construction workers, mostly from South Asia, who build the giant city-towers and giant shopping centers for some $ 400-500 a month.
Thousands of workers relocated
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned this weekend that the number of migrant workers infected with the virus is likely to increase sharply as test campaigns are rolled out. “Fortunately the vast majority of these cases are mild since the workers are young,” the official noted on Facebook.
The giant homes where migrants often live in more than a dozen per room do not allow the physical distance necessary to avoid contamination. Authorities have quarantined tens of thousands of workers and moved a large number of them to less dense housing, to avoid further spread.
Singapore, which had already closed its borders to non-residents, including transit via its air hub, resolved in early April to temporarily close schools and non-essential businesses.