Iswaran sends video message to migrant workers to address concerns
Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran yesterday sent a video message to migrant workers to assuage the concerns of those living in dormitories who have been subjected to stringent measures and active testing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking in Tamil, Mr Iswaran explained the need to test them and their co-workers for Covid-19 and said the Government has "undertaken numerous efforts to enhance the quality of food and facilities" within their dorms.
The video, with a second version dubbed in Bengali, was sent through WhatsApp to workers yesterday, the first day of the extended circuit breaker period slated to end on June 1.
"If (your friends test) positive, we will provide them with the necessary medical care fully paid for by the Government. We will provide you with the necessary quality medical care as we do for Singaporeans. This is our promise," Mr Iswaran said.
As of Monday, more than 5 per cent, or 16,393, of the 323,000 migrant workers living in dorms have tested positive for the virus; many of them are Indian nationals.
In the message, which also urged migrant workers to cooperate and do their part, Mr Iswaran said he had approached four Indian stars to send their wishes and encouragement to the workers on video.
They include actor Rajinikanth and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who both urged the workers to abide by the Singapore Government's rules.
Renowned composer A. R. Rahman and actor Kamal Haasan also recorded messages to convey their good wishes.
Haasan said: "When we look after ourselves, don't forget that it is also like we are looking after the Government. The Government is not a separate entity from us, we are all part of the same ecosystem."
Rahman said that workers, like their countrymen in India, should follow the Government's announcements and practise safe distancing.
"It is in your hands for you all to be careful and stay safe," he added.
Mr Iswaran said services in the dorms have been enhanced to make sure workers can communicate with their families, get necessary information from the Internet and watch their favourite films.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING: SHIVRAJ RAJENDRAN