Singapore has announced that the country can expect to see “volatile” case numbers in the coming two weeks.

The Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) said as they complete the testing of migrant workers in dormitories around the country.                          

On August 6, the country recorded 301 cases of Covid-19, with four cases in the community. The rest are workers living in dormitories.  

In a release, the MTF said the testing of all workers in the dormitories will be complete by August 7.

This means that all the dormitories will be Covid-cleared, with the exception of several standalone blocks which serve as quarantine facilities. The workers in these quarantine facilities will be tested when their isolation ends.

However, the task force also said the results of the tests will take some time to come in, and case numbers will be “volatile” in the next two weeks.

Education Minister Lawrence Wong said “numbers may be volatile because depending on what we see from the final test results, so you may see a sudden spike, we may see nothing, we don't know. It really depends.”

On August 5, cases spiked to 908, the highest since May 1. Since July, cases have not gone beyond 513, and largely remained around or below 300 a day.

But Wong added that he expects the number of new cases in Singapore to come down as workers are cleared and said about 90% of workers will be able to resume work by the end of August.

However, a cleared dorm is not “Covid-safe” due to the infectiousness of the virus, and he said workers will still be tested once every 14 days.

“Low levels of infection ... can suddenly flare up into large clusters, anywhere, any time,” he warned.

Revised Charging Policy for COVID-19 Treatment for Travellers

As Singapore gradually permits essential travel, all outbound travellers who are Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Long Term Pass Holders who travel abroad under permitted travel arrangements will be able to tap on regular healthcare financing for their hospital bills, should they exhibit symptoms and require hospital admission for suspected COVID-19 infection.

This will take effect on August 7.

This means Singapore citizens and PRs will be eligible for Government subsidies and MediShield Life/ Integrated Shield Plans coverage, and will be required to pay any remaining co-payment.

Long Term Pass Holders may tap on their prevailing financing arrangements (e.g. foreign worker insurance), where applicable.

Permitted travel arrangements include Green/ Fast Lanes which are currently in place, as well as any permitted travel arrangement that may be implemented in the future.

Currently, those who travel overseas against the travel advisories are required to pay for their own Covid-19 treatment in full, should they have symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days of their return.

The MTF said those who are not under permitted travel arrangements, and travel in breach of the travel advisories will continue to pay for their COVID-19 inpatient medical bills in full with no access to subsidies and MediShield Life/ Integrated Shield Plan coverage.

Short-Term Pass Holders entering Singapore under permitted travel arrangements will also remain responsible for their medical bills, should they test positive for COVID-19.