We have been worried for awhile about the foreign worker issue. They are youthful, slim, with high vitamin D exposure – all factors which have shown to be correlated with high Covid-19 survivability. Singapore’s massive foreign worker positive cases have, in the words of infectious disease specialists, “diluted” the mortality rate of Singapore’s SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.
This presents a significant challenge to our epidemic model, with a fixed mortality rate which we update every 2 weeks or so based on our comparison countries and our own mortality data. Hence, with today’s news that 57 out of 68 of new cases are from foreign workers/immigrant populations – we decide to dramatically alter our model framework to incorporate daily updates based solely on local mortality rates. We hope in this way we can be a more precise early warning of any incipient outbreaks.
With this new framework our updated figure is 554 Undetected Infectious (UI’s) in Malaysia, which is an increase from yesterday’s figure, despite today’s apparent good news. We believe that with this conservative approach, we will be able to assimilate any higher infectivity as a result of the foreign worker population.
As always our model can be viewed here.