S’pore reports shortage of workers due to border curbs

The Covid-19 pandemic-related border curbs have resulted in a shortage of short of workers in Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower said on Tuesday.

The Ministry said “we have not been able to adequately replace those who have left Singapore,” which depends heavily on foreign workers in sectors such as construction and home help, reports dpa news agency.

Earlier this month Singapore banned entry from South Asia for work permit or long-term visa holders, after record virus numbers were reported in India.

Singapore has since last year been closed to visitors and short-term business travellers from all but a handful of countries.

After largely reopening domestically since a sole lockdown was ended last June, the government last week significantly re-tightened restrictions after a slight rise in coronavirus case numbers, including by closing schools temporarily and limiting restaurants to takeaway or delivery services.

While the numbers remain relatively low, with 38 new cases reported on Tuesday, officials are concerned about “unlinked” cases and about high numbers in neighbouring countries.

Most of Singapore’s almost-62,000 virus cases were recorded last year among migrant workers crammed into dormitories.

The virus-related death toll, at 31, means Singapore has one of the lowest death rates in the world.