COVID-19: Work permit holders living outside dormitories now included in community cases count

COVID-19: Work permit holders living outside dormitories now included in community cases count

May 12 easing of circuit breaker measures (32)
People queuing up outside a hairdressing salon on May 12, after some circuit breaker measures were eased. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: COVID-19 cases among work permit holders living outside dormitories have been added to the daily count of community cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Wednesday (May 20).

Work permit holders residing outside dormitories were previously listed under a separate category in the ministry's daily COVID-19 update.

All work permit holders and S Pass holders in the construction sector were placed on mandatory stay-home notices from Apr 20 to May 4, the Building and Construction Authority and Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced on Apr 18.

On May 1, that mandatory stay-home notice was extended by two weeks until May 18 to cover another incubation cycle to help break the transmission cycle, MOM announced.

READ: COVID-19: Stay-home notice period extended for work permit and S Pass holders in construction sector

MOM said at the time that it had been closely monitoring the infections among construction workers living outside purpose-built dormitories.

"The stay-home notices for these workers have since expired," the health ministry said on Wednesday. 

"Hence we have now updated the definition of 'cases in the community' to include all cases (including amongst work permit holders) who are detected outside the dormitories."

There were 570 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday, bringing Singapore's total number of coronavirus cases to 29,364.

READ: Singapore reports 570 new COVID-19 cases, including nurse at Ren Ci Community Hospital

Of these, eight were in the community, including five work permit holders living outside dormitories. 

Two of the work permit holders had been identified as contacts of previous cases, the ministry said, adding that they had already been placed on quarantine.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the other cases.

A Singaporean, a permanent resident and a work pass holder were among the new community cases on Wednesday.

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Source: CNA/ga

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