Singapore has reported 1,426 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, 20 April, marking its highest single-day increase in infections so far.
The recent surge in cases is attributed to the authorities’ recent widespread testing of foreign labourers housed in crowded dormitory complexes. Of the new numbers, only 18 cases reported were citizens or residents of Singapore, while the remaining 1,369 are comprised of migrant workers.
Rights groups have previously said that the large migrant worker community in Singapore remains a “weak link” in the government’s containment efforts. Now that the disease is spreading to this particular community, Singaporean authorities have ramped up testing even further and moved thousands of workers to other sits, including apartments and floating accommodation, to stem the infection rate.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expects that dorm cases will continue to rise as it will take time to see the government’s efforts bear fruit. “It will take some time to show results, so we must expect to see more dorm cases for [a] while longer,” the leader said.
“Fortunately, the vast majority of the cases are mild because the workers are young,” Lee wrote on a Facebook post.
The city-state has been initially successful in flattening the curve with its extensive contact-tracing and testing efforts, but a second wave of infections seems to be on Singapore’s horizon.
Monday’s record increase brings Singapore’s total to 8,014 confirmed cases, the highest in Southeast Asia. To date, Singapore has only recorded 11 deaths from the fatal viral disease.