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Migrant worker with COVID-19 dies from injuries after being found motionless at staircase landing in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

SINGAPORE: The police are investigating a case of unnatural death after a man was found motionless at a staircase landing in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The Singapore Police Force said it was alerted to the case, which involved a 46-year-old Indian national, at about 7.30am on Thursday (Apr 23).

He was found lying motionless at the staircase landing and subsequently died of his injuries, the police said.

"Based on preliminary investigations, the police do not suspect foul play. Police investigations are ongoing," the force added.

Responding to CNA's queries, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said the man was a confirmed COVID-19 case. 

In an update later on Thursday, the ministry said the man was confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on Apr 19, and was then warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

READ: COVID-19 infections in Singapore top 11,000, with 1,037 new cases

According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the man had worked as a construction worker for the same employer since September 2009. 

In a statement to the media, MOM said the worker lived in a factory-converted dormitory operated by his employer. 

"It was last inspected on Apr 12, 2020. At the time, it housed nine workers (including the deceased), less than the approved capacity for factory-converted dormitories," said the ministry.

"The dormitory was found to be in an acceptable condition, including cleanliness and ventilation."

MOM did not indicate why the man had been at the hospital.

In response to CNA queries, the High Commission of India in Singapore said it was informed of the Indian national's death.

"We await further information about the circumstances surrounding the death from the police after coroner’s (inquiry) is complete," the High Commission said in an email.

CNA has contacted the hospital for more information.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo speaking to workers at the dormitory of an Indian national who died at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Apr 23. (Photo: Ministry of Manpower)

MOM said Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam and Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo visited the man's roommates on Thursday afternoon to speak with them and understand their concerns. 

"The workers were sad but calm. They reported that they have been well taken care of by the employer. They also requested that the nephew of the deceased worker, who is employed by the same company, be allowed to pay his last respects," said MOM, adding that it is working with MOH to facilitate the request.

MOM is also working with the Hindu Endowments Board to undertake the necessary funeral arrangements for the deceased worker, as well as with the Migrant Workers’ Centre to provide support to the family of the deceased.

In a Facebook post, Mrs Teo said she reassured the workers at the dormitory that their health and medical needs are of "uppermost priority" and that the Government will make sure they are treated and help them recover should they fall sick. 

"I was glad they knew all the right numbers to call, which had been provided by our officers," she said. 

"To all our migrant workers, I know some of you are worried. We will look after you, your health and safety, your daily needs. You can approach our officers at any time for help. Please stay strong so that you can be reunited with your families.

"We know this is a stressful time for all of you. You are not alone and the Singapore Government will take care of you," she said. 

As of Thursday, Singapore has reported 11,178 cases of COVID-19. Twelve people are confirmed to have died from complications related to the disease.

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Source: CNA/zl


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