Migrant workers in Singapore could be kept on cruise vessels

Singapore has said that it is considering whether migrant workers who have recovered from coronavirus might better be kept on cruise ships. It said that migrant workers could be safer there than it they were returned to dormitories.

Singapore has experienced a surge in cases in the housing complexes for foreign labourers. It is looking for new accommodation solutions for hundreds of workers.

About 60% of the 4,427 people infected on Singapore stay in dormitories, where mainly South Asian labourers live 12 to 20 in a room, and share toilets in conditions some workers have said are unsanitary.

The city-state’s tourism board said on Friday that “cruise ships are being considered as they have readily available rooms and en-suite toilets to minimize person-to-person contact”.

It said the measure could be rolled out for workers who have recovered from the coronavirus and tested negative, and that this would free up space in dormitories. Authorities are also moving some healthy workers from the dormitories into public housing, military camps and industrial ships used to accommodate offshore staff.

The tourism board said that two ships owned by Genting Cruise Lines could each accommodate up to 2,000 people, and that they were being checked to see if they had suitable ventilation systems, security protocols and infection control measures.