47% of Singapore Migrant Workers Infected with COVID-19

Nearly 50 percent of the migrant workers residing in dormitories across Singapore have been infected with coronavirus in the past nine months, Singaporean authorities said on Monday.

Nearly half of the population of migrant workers residing in dormitories across Singapore has been infected with coronavirus in the past nine months, the Singaporean Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Monday.

The new data published by the health ministry of the Southeast Asian country revealed that a total of 152,794 migrant workers residing in dorms have tested positive for COVID-19 via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests or serology tests since the pandemic emerged in mid-December.

In a joint statement, the MOH and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that they represent 47 percent of approximately 323,000 migrant workers that stay in dormitories across Singapore.

According to the two ministries’ authorities, the serology tests for about 65,000 working dormitory dwellers were still being carried out.

“This will give us the full picture of the infection prevalence among our migrant workers,” the two ministries said in their report.

According to MOH, PCR tests are utilized to diagnose current or new COVID-19 infections, while serology tests are used to detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies in blood samples to identify individuals who had histories of infection.

MOH said that most of the migrant workers who tested positive for COVID-19 were either asymptomatic or showed mild symptoms of infection.

“We acted swiftly and decisively to stabilize the situation in the dormitories. Working closely with dormitory operators, employers, the medical community, NGOs and other community groups, we contained the outbreak and cleared the dormitories of the virus,” MOH said in a statement.

Tan See Leng, the second minister for manpower, credited the authorities, volunteers and working dorm dwellers for their cooperation in curbing the spread of coronavirus.

“It has also enabled us to better understand the prevalence of infection amongst our migrant workers,” said Tang. “This will go a long way, in the coming months ahead, in informing us and allowing us to refine our strategies to keep them safe against future outbreaks.”

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