Singapore sees huge surge in new virus cases

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A safe-distancing enforcement officer wearing a red armband watches over customers lining up to buy take-away food at a food court in Singapore on Saturday, April 18, 2020. The officers have been deployed throughout the Southeast Asian city-state to ensure people maintain distance from one another as it grapples with a spike in coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/YK Chan)

BANGKOK (AP) — Singapore reported 942 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a single-day high for the tiny city-state that pushed its total number of infections to 5,992, including 11 deaths.

The number of cases in Singapore has more than doubled over the past week amid an explosion of infections among foreign workers staying in crowded dormitories. This group now makes up around 60% of Singapore’s cases.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Saturday that it will take time to break the chain of transmission in the dorms. He wrote on Facebook that the vast majority of cases among migrant workers were mild, as the workers are young. Although cases in the dorms are expected to continue to rise amid ongoing virus testing, Lee said the government is building up its health care and isolation facilities to handle the load.

More than 200,000 migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and other Asian countries live in dormitories in Singapore that house up to 20 people per room with shared facilities. Tens of thousands of workers have been quarantined in their dorms, while some have been moved to safer places to reduce crowding.

Lee said there were early signs that Singapore’s partial lockdown until May 4 is helping to bring the number of new cases down. But he said the government is worried about hidden cases circulating in the population and urged citizens to do their part.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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