82 workplace Covid-19 infections in first half of 2021

The number of infectious disease cases had hovered at one to two cases each year between 2017 and 2019. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Infectious disease cases at the workplace have risen to 82 in the first six months of this year.

All the cases recorded between January and June this year were due to Covid-19, said the Manpower Ministry (MOM) on Friday (Oct 8).

According to its mid-year report on workplace safety and health, the number of infectious disease cases had hovered at one to two cases each year between 2017 and 2019.

The number rose to six in the first half of last year, 28 in the second half, before hitting a high of 82 in the first six months of this year.

"Infectious disease cases in 2020 and 2021 were largely caused by Covid-19 infections," said MOM.

The pandemic also led to a delay in medical assessments for other occupational diseases, such as work-related musculoskeletal disorders and noise-induced deafness, the ministry said.

This contributed to a rise in the incidence of occupational diseases between January and June, it added.

In all, there were 401 cases of occupational diseases in the first half of this year, up from 326 in the second half of last year.

This was the highest number since the first half of 2017, when there were 471 cases.

Similarly, the occupational disease incidence rate grew to 12.1 cases per 100,000 workers in the first half of this year, up from 9.9 cases per 100,000 workers in the six months before.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders and noise-induced deafness remained the leading occupational diseases, MOM said, jointly accounting for 68 per cent of the total number of cases.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.