SINGAPORE (Apr 17): Two months ago, 22-year-old Murugan left his village in Tamil Nadu to work for a construction company in Singapore. Despite having incurred an $8,000 debt from agency fees, he is confident the move would eventually bring better prospects for his family. “The job market in India is not so good, so my friends suggested I come to Singapore because the salary is higher. That’s why I am here,” he tells The Edge Singapore.

Little did he expect what was in store for him. Less than a month into work, the month-long circuit breaker, which restricts operations of non-essential services, was imposed from April 7. And Murugan’s residence – the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol – was gazetted as an isolation site. With 797 confirmed cases there, as at 12pm on April 15, it is the biggest cluster. Murugan says he is now “very scared” of being the next victim, especially since two of his roommates tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week. “I can only pray now. Other than that, I just talk to my six roommates or family. That’s the only way to stay calm,” he says.

Resident morale at the Centurion Corp-operated Westlite Toh Guan Dormitory is also bleak. “Every day we see so many ambulances coming and going,” says Mohan, a worksite supervisor. “It is sad to see our friends leave in an ambulance because we don’t know if we will ever see them again.” As at 12pm on April 15, the cluster has 110 cases.

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