Singapore, May 8 (PTI) Singapore on Friday reported 768 new cases of coronavirus, mostly among the foreign nationals living in dormitories, taking the total number of infections in the country to 21,707 with 20 deaths, the health ministry said.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) said the foreign workers living in dormitories form the bulk of the cases of the new 768 new infections.
'Foreign workers living in dormitories form the bulk of the cases,' the MoH said in a statement.
'As of Thursday, 18,483 of 323,000 migrant workers living in dormitories, or 5.7 per cent, have tested positive for COVID-19. By Thursday, 1,706 patients had recovered from the deadly disease,' the statement added.
A total of 750 of the 768 new cases are among foreign workers from dormitories.
There are 11 cases in the community, of which 10 are Singapore citizens or permanent residents (foreigners), while one is a work holder (also foreigner).
Foreign workers not living in dormitories make up the other seven of the new cases. There are no new imported case Singapore currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in South-east Asia and saw a surge in cases in recent weeks, especially after the medical testing of foreign workers living in dormitories, The Straits Times reported.
The number of cases doubled to 20,000 in two weeks from April 22 as authorities increased tests on foreign workers living in dormitories.
Twenty people have died from COVID-19 complications so far in Singapore.
Globally, the outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 3.8 million people. Some 270,000 have died.
As Singapore ramps up coronavirus testing to 40,000 a day, it needs to have a strategy and do it in a coordinated fashion, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday.
'The tests have to be allocated to areas of priority,' he said, adding that the 40,000 daily tests 'is probably ranked as one of the highest rates of testing in the world'.
Among the top priorities he cited are nursing homes, front-line medical workers in hospitals and migrant workers, whom, he said, should be tested on a regular basis partly because they work in large groups.
'You want to be very careful not to have large clusters forming again,' The Straits Times quoted the minister as saying.
Migrant workers living in dormitories form around 85 per cent of Singapore's total infected cases.
The minister urged Singaporeans not to rush to go out when businesses reopen on May 12, as the circuit breaker will still be in place despite the decline in COVID-19 cases in the broader community. PTI GS RUP NSA