Just when heightened cleanliness is more essential during a virus outbreak, rubbish is now piling up due to a shortage of cleaners.
The Singapore government announced that trash collection at HDB blocks will be delayed and cleaning frequency will be halved:
“We ask for residents’ understanding that the refuse may be with them for a longer time… Our workers will try their best to remove it as quickly as possible… Residents might see their trash around for longer periods than usual, with waste collection timings being extended from 7pm now to 10pm in the days to come. The cleaning frequency might also be reduced and certain areas might only be cleaned on alternate days.”
The National Environment Agency (NEA) blamed Malaysia for the shortage of cleaners, saying the Malaysian cleaners are stuck in their own country:
“The changes in operations come as cleaning service providers here face a lack of manpower following the lockdown imposed by Malaysia earlier this month, which affected a number of cleaners in Singapore who come from across the Causeway.”
Singapore is also currently seeing a Dengue fever epidemic, with over 2,000 cases reported in the first three months of this year.