Singapore locks down 4th migrant worker dorm as new COVID-19 cases hit record high

View of Sungei Tengah Lodge. Image: Google
View of Sungei Tengah Lodge. Image: Google

Singapore locked down a fourth migrant worker dormitory yesterday after newly confirmed coronavirus infections hit a new daily high.

The Sungei Tengah Lodge on Old Choa Chu Kang Road was declared an isolation area by the Ministry of Health, with travel in and out suspended at midnight just after Singapore reported 142 new cases. 

“Each of the following premises of the foreign employee dormitory known as Sungei Tengah Lodge is declared to be an isolation area for the purpose of preventing the spread or possible outbreak of the infectious disease,” read the notice, which listed dormitory blocks 506 and 512.

It came just days after the Toh Guan Dormitory became the third isolation area Monday, one of several migrant worker facilities where poor living conditions and unsanitary conditions have come to light only after outbreaks of COVID-19. 

It is not clear how many people are affected by the lockdown. According to the Sungei Tengah Lodge website, it houses 25,000 workers across 10 residential blocks. 

Eleven new cases were reported at the Sungei Tengah Lodge last night, making it the fourth most infected foreign worker dormitory with 29 cases. 

Another facility, the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, has been the hardest hit, with 118 total infections, followed by the Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory where 38 people took ill, and the 23 cases of the Toh Guan Dormitory. 

Of Singapore’s 1,623 reported cases, 253 have been found across its nine migrant worker dormitories.

Singapore also reported the death of a 32-year-old Indian national who posthumously tested positive for the disease. It was the seventh COVID-19 death.

The man, identified as case No. 1,604, was reportedly advised to wait for his results at home Tuesday after visiting the National Center for Infectious Diseases for a swab test. He died at home the next day, according to reports citing the Ministry of Health.

According to the ministry, he held a long-term visa and has not been linked to any other cases or clusters. 

With an investigation into his death underway, the ministry has not included him in the country’s official coronavirus death toll. 

Related:

Look inside Singapore’s exhibition hall turned hospital (Photos)
Filthy, cramped dorms come to light as virus afflicts Singapore’s migrant workers

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