Pre-recorded Prayers Played in Dormitories for Migrant Workers Celebrating Diwali in Singapore

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Singapore: Pre-recorded religious prayers and greetings by the chief priests of various Hindu temples in Singapore were shared with migrant workers through social media as part of Diwali celebrations on Saturday, according to a media report. Various organisations also came together to distribute goodies to the workers across 144 dormitories which house migrant workers including Indian nationals working in labour-intensive industries here.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Singapore’s shores, the migrant workers in dormitories were the worst affected, with tens of thousands infected. Many were placed in quarantine or under lockdown in an effort to control the spread of the disease, and restrictions were imposed on what they could do on the rest of the days. Currently, they are still largely restricted to their workplaces and dormitories, or approved locations such as recreation centres.

”The last few months have been very challenging for our migrant brothers in the dormitories. They have cooperated with measures implemented by the authorities and have generally taken all the controls in the right spirit… (It is) timely during this festive period to recognise and laud the contributions of some of the true heroes of this pandemic – the workers themselves,” Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said on Saturday. Over 1,000 volunteers took part in the initiative organised by the Ministry of Manpower’s Assurance, Care and Engagement (Ace) Group, the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) and the Coordinating Council of Sikh Institutions (CCSI), The Straits Times reported.

From November 12 to 14, the workers received gift packs containing savoury and sweet treats such as murukku and laddu, which were contributed by the three organisers, various Hindu temples, Sikh Gurdwaras and Indian International School here. Meanwhile, Singapore reported two imported COVID-19 cases on Saturday, said the Ministry of Health (MOH), adding that they have been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival here.

There was no locally transmitted infection for the fourth consecutive day. The 12 imported cases, reported on Friday, came from France, India, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Myanmar, Russia, France and the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Fifty COVID-19 patients are hospitalised while 28 were recuperating in isolated community facilities as of Friday. With six patients discharged on Friday, 58,008 people have fully recovered from the disease in Singapore.