by BERNAMA/ pic by AFP
NO Malaysian is linked to any Singapore foreign employee dormitory’s clusters which contributed to the largest daily upsurge of new positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
However, two cases involving Malaysian men were reported with one aged 36 linked to the cluster of Mustafa Centre department store which currently has 57 confirmed cases, and another aged 29 still specified as local unlinked.
Both are currently warded at Changi General Hospital and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, respectively, according to the daily data published by the republic’s Ministry of Health in its website.
Singapore is currently dealing with two scenarios where the numbers are rising sharply at the dormitories, and in the general population where the numbers are more stable.
So far, five dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas with the latest at Tampines Dormitory of Tampines Place.
A new cluster was also identified on Thursday involving another dorm – Shaw Lodge of Shaw Road – with five cases so far, thus in total there are nine affected dorms in the republic.
On Thursday, Singapore recorded a spike in daily positive cases of 287, of which 202 cases were linked to the dorm clusters.
Singapore currently has 43 dormitories which house about 200,000 mostly guest workers, mainly from China, India, and Bangladesh.
To date, there have been 466 positive cases linked to nine of the 43 dormitories.
Most Malaysian workers prefer to commute daily from Johor Bahru instead of staying in the republic.
Meanwhile, the Singapore government is doing its level best to contain the spread of the virus in the dorms with one of its dedicated strategies being separating those that are infected or the suspect cases from those that are healthy.
As of Thursday, about 5,000 healthy workers in essential service have been housed separately from the dormitories at several places.
Floating hotels – normally used for offshore accommodation – Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) military camps, Changi Exhibition Centre, and vacant Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats have been identified as temporary accommodation for them.