Singapore houses recovered migrants on cruise ships

Singapore houses recovered migrants on cruise ships

Working ships gather to sound their horns during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Singapore, May 1, 2020 in this still image taken from a social media video. (Drilling Rig Surveyor Tan Sze Liang/via Reuters)
Working ships gather to sound their horns during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Singapore, May 1, 2020 in this still image taken from a social media video. (Drilling Rig Surveyor Tan Sze Liang/via Reuters)

Singapore is moving migrant workers who have recovered from the coronavirus on to two cruise ships as part of efforts to reduce the spread of the disease within the workers' dormitories, which have seen a surge in infections.

The city-state managed to keep the Covid-19 outbreak in check in the early stages, but is facing a fast-moving second wave of cases, with the vast majority of new infections in sprawling dormitory complexes housing migrant workers, many of them construction labourers from South Asia.

In a bid to reduce the risk of infection in crowded dorms, authorities have moved workers to other sites including military barracks and vacant apartment blocks.

A group of workers boarded the SuperStar Gemini, a mid-sized cruise ship, on Wednesday, and another vessel, the SuperStar Aquarius, is ready to receive more after undergoing assessments by government agencies, the Singapore Tourism Board said on Friday.

Together, the vessels can accommodate up to 2,000.

Cruise ships have been the site of massive outbreaks during the pandemic.

On the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that docked in Yokohama, Japan, officials opted to carry out a much-criticised onboard quarantine that they argued would limit infections, but more than 700 people ultimately contracted the virus and 13 died.

To reduce the risk of infection, workers are housed in twin rooms with en-suite toilets and are told to follow safe distancing measures, the tourism board said, adding food is individually packaged and hung outside cabins.

The ships' operator, Genting Cruise Lines, said it has had no reported cases of coronavirus on any of its ships and has a "healthy flow of fresh air" throughout its vessels.

Singapore has reported 17,101 cases and 15 deaths.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (5)

US deaths top 100,000 as countries reimpose distancing measures

WASHINGTON - The US coronavirus death toll passed 100,000, as some countries reimposed social distancing rules following a resurgence of cases that raised the spectre of a dreaded second wave of infections.

28 May 2020

Trump to target social media with executive order

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump was set Thursday to target social media giants like Twitter, which he accuses of bias against him, with an executive order opening them to new regulation.

28 May 2020

Virus unleashing new wave of US layoffs

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held above 2 million last week for a 10th straight week amid job cuts by US state and local governments whose budgets have been decimated fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and more second-wave layoffs in the private sector.

28 May 2020