COVID-19: Singapore will ‘care for Indian migrant workers’, PM Lee assures PM Modi

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong assured his Indian counterpart Mr Narendra Modi on Thursday (Apr 23) that Singapore will care for Indian migrant workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Lee outlined his phone call with Mr Modi where both leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 situation in their respective countries.

During the call, Mr Lee said he acknowledged the sacrifices migrant workers in Singapore have made in order to work here.

“I assured him that we will care for Indian migrant workers here, just as we care for Singaporeans. The migrant workers made personal sacrifices to come to work here,” said Mr Lee. 

“They have made many contributions to Singapore, so we have a responsibility for them.”

He added: “Appreciate PM Modi’s affirmation of our efforts in looking after the migrant workers, and his assurance that they will not forget this.”

He also thanked Mr Modi for India’s help in bringing back some Singaporeans from India recently.

READ: ‘I think about my family, not about me’: A foreign worker stricken with COVID-19 has concerns far away

Both leaders also discussed the “extensive economic ties” Singapore and India share.

“We agreed to work together on the challenges posed by the pandemic, keep supply chains intact, and keep essential supplies flowing,” said Mr Lee.

Singapore has seen more than 11,000 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, with a majority of them linked to work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.

An increasing number of dormitories have also been gazetted as isolation areas as the coronavirus continues to afflict migrant workers living there.

Addressing the spike in COVID-19 cases in dormitories, Mr Lee said on Tuesday the Government would increase medical resources there and deploy more medical personnel to ensure workers with flu symptoms get “appropriate and timely” medical treatment.

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