Serology testing has revealed nearly half of the 323,000 migrant workers living in Singapore dormitories were infected with Covid-19, far higher than the official tally and indicating the virus spreads widely among people who may not have any symptoms.

The city-state has reported more than 54,500 infections in dormitories since the pandemic began, making up more than 93% of all confirmed cases. Another 98,289 workers were found positive through serology testing — which identifies those who had been infected in the past — contributing to an overall prevalence rate of 47%, according to a statement by the Ministry of Manpower on Dec 14.

The finding is further proof that Covid-19 infection is vastly under-detected across the board, and reflects the prevalence of the virus in tightly-spaced worker accommodations. In neighboring Malaysia, which supplies about two-thirds of the world’s latex gloves, the government last month imposed mandatory Covid-19 screening for the 1.7 million foreign workers in the country.

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