Singapore migrant worker dorms in lockdown as coronavirus cluster grows

Singapore migrant worker dorms in lockdown as coronavirus cluster grows

April 9, 2020   04:05 pm

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Singapore has quarantined nearly 20,000 migrant workers in two dormitories, made up of mainly Bangladeshi and other South Asian manual workers after they were linked to at least 90 infections of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government said the action was needed to prevent broader transmission in the city-state and said it had taken measures to reduce worker interaction in the dormitories and ensure they received salary, meals and medical support.

Workers from Westlite Accommodation, one of the dormitories where cases of COVID-19 were found, were seen cleaning the area and also receiving food during the lockdown.

However, some experts and non-governmental organizations said the cramped and squalid conditions in which the workers live in could create a hotbed for infection.

Human Rights Watch said the quarantine created a “tinderbox” for infection and urged Singapore to quickly test all workers and move the sick out of the dormitories to medical facilities. Amnesty International called the lockdown “a recipe for disaster”.

-Agencies

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