Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has promised to do his best to take care of foreign workers even as the city-state reported 198 new cases of COVID-19 infection and one death today.
With the latest infections, the total number of coronavirus cases in the island nation stood at 2,108 and related deaths at six after earlier reports of an Indian citizen purportedly dying from the coronavirus was later confirmed to be a case of heart attack.
The new death report is of a 86-year-old female Singapore citizen, who died from complications due to the COVID-19 infection on Thursday night.
Mr Lee appreciated the hard work put in by foreign workers and assured them of doing his best to take care of their needs amid the virus outbreak.
"If any of their family members watch my video, let me say this to them: We appreciate the work and contributions of your sons, fathers, husbands in Singapore. We feel responsible for their well-being," he said today.
"We will do our best to take care of their health, livelihood and welfare, and to let them go home, safe and sound, to you," Mr Lee said in a speech posted on Facebook.
The number of COVID-19 cases in foreign worker dormitories has surged in recent days, with clusters emerging in nine dormitories so far.
"We are paying close attention to the welfare of the foreign workers. They came to Singapore to work hard for a living and provide for their families back home."
"They have played an important part in building our HDB flats, Changi Airport, MRT lines," he said of the foreign workers contribution to building public housing and the subway network.
He added that authorities have worked with employers to make sure that the workers are paid their salaries and can remit money home.
"We will provide them with the medical care and treatment that they need," Mr Lee said, as reported by Channel News Asia.
There had been concerns about the welfare of foreign workers in dormitories, and the ability of dorm operators to implement COVID-19 safe distancing measures, after photos and videos circulating online appeared to show crowded and unsanitary conditions at S11 Dormitory, a dormitory for foreign workers.