Singapore’s migrant workers are suffering the brunt of the country’s coronavirus outbreak

Men stand along a balcony of a dormitory used by foreign workers which has been made an isolation area to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore.
Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

Date Published: April 25, 2020

Source: CNN

The recent spike in coronavirus cases in Singapore has been largely attributed to cramped conditions of foreign worker dormitories, where about 10 to 20 workers share a room and where self-isolation or avoiding close contact may not be possible. Some migrant workers have been provided with face masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and fresh fruit by the government, as well as free WiFi and extra phone cards. However, the 1.4 million migrant workers living in Singapore are still at a heightened risk of infection. Reportedly, authorities failed to alert the migrant worker community until it was too late and numbers of COVID-19 cases in these close quarters had already begun to spike. The issue has led to calls for reforms on living and working conditions for migrant workers. 

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Summary by: Megan Lam