Singapore PM admits faults in handling of migrant dorms

Singapore PM admits faults in handling of migrant dorms
  • Clock-gray 18:25
  • calendar-gray 02 September 2020

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has apologised for errors the government made in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, APA reports citing BBC News.

One of these errors related to migrant workers who, throughout the pandemic, continued to be housed in dormitories with upwards of 20 people in a room.

Addressing parliament, the prime minister said the government should have acted "more aggressively and sooner".

"We stepped up precautions. For a time, these seemed adequate. But then bigger clusters broke out in the dorms, which threatened to overwhelm us."

It harks back to one of the biggest issues surrounding Covid-19 in Singapore. While initially hailed as a success story, the city state later experienced case numbers that, at the time, were among the biggest in Asia.

Of the 56,000 cases Singapore has reported, at least 50,000 of them are low paid migrant workers from South Asia who live in cramped dormitories.

Singapore later sealed the dorms and carried out extensive testing, while the country was placed in a strict three-month lockdown.

But with borders still closed and the economy struggling, the government has come under pressure to explain why more wasn't done to protect the workers – and what the outcome for the country could have been if it had.


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