SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 301 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Thursday (Aug 6), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its preliminary daily update.
Four cases were in the community, consisting of three Singaporeans or permanent residents and one work pass holder, and there were four imported cases.
The remaining cases were linked to foreign worker dormitories, bringing the national total to 54,555 infections.
“We continue to aggressively test the final batch of dormitory residents, and remain on track to clear all the dormitories by Aug 7, except for a few standalone blocks in the dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities,” the ministry added.
“Depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 at the remaining dormitories whose residents are being tested, the daily case counts may vary.
“We expect the number to remain volatile in the coming days, before tapering down thereafter as the Inter-agency Taskforce completes the dormitory clearance.”
The ministry will provide more details later on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Singapore recorded its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since May 1, with 908 new infections.
MOH attributed the high case number to the ongoing clearance of foreign worker dormitories, where residents were tested during their isolation/quarantine period, despite being asymptomatic.
“They are among the final batch of workers being cleared and they come from dormitories with a relatively high prevalence of COVID-19.
“Hence we expect the daily case counts to be high for the coming days, before tapering down thereafter as the inter-agency task force completes the dormitory clearance,” said MOH.
The ministry added that it is “on track” to clear all dormitories by Friday, “except for a few standalone blocks in the dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities”.
There are currently 9,700 workers in these quarantine facilities.
More than 300,000 migrant workers living in dormitories had been placed in lockdown in April as part of the Government’s strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But uncertainties over their health, jobs and prolonged confinement have affected the mental state of many migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant worker advocacy groups said.
In response to CNA’s queries, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Wednesday it has not observed a spike in the number of migrant worker suicides compared to previous years, although it is aware of recent incidents involving workers living in dormitories.
In recent weeks, there have been questions about the state of workers’ mental health following at least three reports of unnatural deaths.
MOM said its Forward Assurance and Support Teams – public officers stationed at the dormitories – have stepped up efforts to “proactively look out for residents whom they assess may benefit from speaking to a mental health counsellor”.
“We have also worked with IMH to train and better equip frontline staff with the knowledge and skills to help workers who may require support,” it added.
Published at Thu, 06 Aug 2020 08:12:10 +0000