After Early Praise, Virus Cases Rise in Singapore
Singapore has been praised for limiting the spread of the coronavirus. But infections have risen recently among migrant workers.
The city-state now has the most infections in Southeast Asia. As a result, Singapore is bringing back some restrictions.
Singapore's Ministry of Health said that, as of Monday, about 87 percent of reported cases are workers living in dorms. These kinds of housing can have up to 20 people living in one room.
Singapore is known for having a high number of foreign workers who come from Britain and other places to work in business or banking. But many foreign laborers come as well. They include Philippine cleaners and Bangladeshi building laborers.
Migrant workers are part of Singapore's two-track economy of both high-paying technology jobs and low-paying labor jobs.
The activist group Transient Workers Count Too said it has been warning that crowding among migrants presented a risk of viral spread. Alex Au is the group's vice president. He said, "There's no denying now that density and poor ventilation in our dorms" helps spread disease.
But he said that is only part of the problem.
Au said Singapore is too dependent on low-cost labor. Migrant workers there are getting attention now because they make up a large majority of Singapore's COVID-19 cases.
Before the large increase in infections, experts had praised Singapore for its strong actions to limit the spread of the disease. Experts said measures such as fast treatment for patients, following contacts of people who could carry the disease and travel restrictions were successful.
Travel restrictions, however, could not prevent the spread of COVID-19 within Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the disease was "hidden" as it spread largely among laborers. New cases have increased in the past three weeks after being comparatively low before then.
HOME is a non-profit organization in Singapore aimed at helping workers. The group said in a statement: "The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that migrant workers are indispensable" to the operation of the country.
Singapore's Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said there is "no question" that Singapore should improve conditions in the dorms.
Teo's ministry is helping with providing food and supervising workers at the dorms. But she said Singapore must deal with the virus emergency before it can deal with workers' living conditions over the long term.
The Health Ministry said it is increasing testing for the virus in the dorms. It is also following possible carriers, a method known as contact tracing.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong spoke Monday about the new measures. He said Singapore had increased health care workers and expanded medical centers in preparation for more cases.
Officials are especially concerned about what are called "unlinked" cases. For these cases, it is unclear how the virus spread from one person to the next.
Labor activist Au said he hopes the health crisis will bring attention to important labor issues like high payments to recruiters and unpaid work for migrants.
Au said labor unfairness is a "structural problem" that opens the country to many other problems. He added, "It's hard to predict where the next crisis might come from."
I'm Mario Ritter, Jr.
1.health crisis 健康危机
A health crisis in one country can impact livelihoods and economies in many parts of the world.
2.aimed at 致力于
The government rushed through legislation aimed at Mafia leaders.
This is a non-profit self-help tourism website.
4.deal with 处理
The President said the agreement would allow other vital problems to be dealt with.
5.Singapore must deal with the virus emergency before it can deal with workers' living conditions over the long term.
over the long term 长远的
Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term.
What have all of these losses added up to over the long term?
6.For these cases, it is unclear how the virus spread from one person to the next.
it is unclear 尚不明确
It is unclear how much popular support they have among the island's population
However, it is unclear whether they have yet tabled formal bids.
新加坡因限制了新冠病毒的传播而备受称赞 。但是近期外来务工人员的感染人数有所增加 。
这座城市国家如今成为东南亚感染人数最多的国家 。因此，新加坡开始恢复一些限制措施 。
新加坡卫生部表示，截至周一，已报告病例中的大约87%是住在宿舍的务工人员 。这类住房一间最多可容纳20人 。
新加坡因拥有大量来自英国等地从事商业或银行业的外籍雇员而闻名 。还包括许多外籍劳工 。他们包括菲律宾的清洁工和孟加拉国的建筑工 。
“客工亦重”激进组织表示，曾警告过外来务工人员密集会存在传播病毒的危险 。区伟鹏(Alex Au)是该组织的副主席 。他说：“现在不可否认的是，我们宿舍的密集程度和通风不良”助长了疾病传播 。
区伟鹏表示，新加坡过于依赖廉价的劳动力 。外来务工人员现在备受关注，因为他们占到了新加坡新冠肺炎病例的绝大比例 。
在感染人数大量增加之前，专家们曾经称赞新加坡为遏制疫情传播所采取的强有力措施 。专家们表示，采取的对病人进行快速治疗，追踪潜在病例的密切接触者，以及限制出行等措施都取得了成效 。
但是旅行限制并不能遏制新冠肺炎在新加坡传播 。新加坡总理李显龙表示，这种疾病主要在在劳工群体中“隐秘”并广泛地传播 。与此前相对较低的感染率相比，过去三周的新增病例有所增加 。
HOME是一家旨在帮助务工人员的非营利组织 。该组织在一份声明中表示：“新冠肺炎大流行表明，外来务工人员对新加坡的运转来说是不可或缺的 。”
新加坡人力大臣Josephine Teo表示，“毫无疑问”，新加坡应该改善宿舍的条件 。
Josephine Teo的人力部正协助监督宿舍工人并为他们提供食物 。但是她表示，新加坡必须先解决好这次病毒紧急状况，才能应对务工人员长期的生活条件 。
新加坡卫生部表示，已经加大了对劳工宿舍的病毒检测 。该部门也在追踪潜在的病毒携带者，这种方法被称为“接触者追踪” 。
新加坡卫生部长颜金勇（Gan Kim Yong）周一就新采取的措施发表了讲话 。他说，新加坡增加了医护人员，扩大了医疗中心，为出现更多病例做准备 。
官员们尤为关注所谓的“无关联”病例 。对于这些病例，目前尚不清楚病毒如何由一个人传染给另一个人 。
区伟鹏表示，劳工不公平是一个“结构性问题，”会给国家带来很多其它问题 。他还说，“很难预测下一次危机会从何而来 。”