Singapore is racing to build bed space for patients in exhibition halls and other temporary facilities to accommodate the surge in coronavirus cases.
The tiny city-state now has one of the highest number of cases in Asia – 13,624 infections as of Sunday – because of outbreaks in cramped dormitories housing at least 300,000 mainly South Asian workers.
Once a model state for its low infection rate, Singapore now trails only China, India, Japan and Pakistan in Asia for the number of coronavirus cases.
The Changi Exhibition Centre could eventually house more than 4000 patients recovering from the disease and those with mild symptoms.
The first patients, mainly from Bangladesh and India, were moved on Saturday into the vast conference hall, partitioned into rooms for eight to 10 people, with metal beds, plastic storage drawers and fans.
More than 10,000 of those infected, some 80 percent of its total, are foreign workers, many of whom have been placed in “isolation facilities” for people with mild symptoms such as the conference centers.