In 2020 Singapore was hit by a series of coronavirus outbreaks, centred around dormitories where thousands of migrant workers live. Cases have dropped significantly, but most of the men are still not permitted to leave except to go to work. It is one of the longest periods of Covid confinement faced by anyone anywhere in the world.
Nearly 300,000 others are banned from mixing with the general public. Last week, Singapore’s government said it would allow a handful of workers to go out in a “pilot scheme”.
Migrants’ life in the dormitory typically means sharing a room with up to 30 people and dividing your bathroom, cooking and recreational space with hundreds more.
The communal living and working conditions of migrant workers in dorms put them at higher risk of infection and the formation of large clusters
Last year several media outlets reported on a spate of suicides and attempted suicides in the dormitories.