02 Jun 2020
This letter to the editor was also published on the New York Times Magazine website on 2 June 2020.
To the Editor:
Re “A Sudden Coronavirus Surge Brought Out Singapore’s Dark Side” (published online, May 20):
Singaporeans understand the need for strict measures in response to the coronavirus. We have brought the situation under control and kept our fatality rate among the very lowest in the world.
Singapore’s government acted early to prevent virus transmission in the dormitories where 300,000 of our migrant workers live. Still the outbreak happened, for the same reason as on cruise ships, aircraft carriers, and nursing homes: the virus spreads extremely quickly in dense, community-living conditions.
We are sparing no efforts to protect the lives and livelihoods of migrant workers. We are testing them intensively, and will eventually test them all. More than half of those who tested positive have no symptoms, and in other countries would not have been tested at all. We believe Singapore has done more for our migrant workers than any other country with large numbers of them.
Ashok Kumar Mirpuri
The writer is Singapore’s ambassador to the United States.