SINGAPORE, 12 April – Singapore Manpower Ministry announced that it will allow Muslim migrant workers to hold “congregational prayers” in their residences during the holy month of Ramadan, which starts this week.
The ministry’s announcement said up to 200 worshippers are allowed at a time, depending on the size of the residence.
It added that all migrants and residences must ensure “adherence to the measures necessary to deal with the risks posed by COVID-19.”
Most of Singapore’s roughly-60,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported among young male migrants living in crowded residences, or dormitories, with the majority of positive tests recorded during the second and third quarters of last year.
The ministry said the virus “spread quickly due to their communal living arrangements” but “the vast majority” of those testing positive “were asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms.”
The migrants have been mostly confined to their residences or workplaces since the outbreaks were discovered just over one year ago, with the Manpower Ministry only in December saying “we are preparing to return migrant workers to the community in a controlled manner, with strict measures in place.”
Singapore’s brief pandemic lockdown ended in June last year and most domestic curbs, including on public worship, were lifted during the following months.
Sources: DPA/The Star