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Title: Testing strategies to contain COVID-19 in migrant worker dormitories
Authors: Koo, Joel R 
Dickens, Borame L 
Jin, Shihui 
Lim, Jue Tao 
Sun, Yinxiaohe 
Tan, Ken Wei 
Cook, Alex R 
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: ELSEVIER
Citation: Koo, Joel R, Dickens, Borame L, Jin, Shihui, Lim, Jue Tao, Sun, Yinxiaohe, Tan, Ken Wei, Cook, Alex R (2022). Testing strategies to contain COVID-19 in migrant worker dormitories. JOURNAL OF MIGRATION AND HEALTH 5. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Introduction: COVID-19 transmission within overcrowded migrant worker dormitories is an ongoing global issue. Many countries have implemented extensive control measures to prevent the entire migrant worker population from becoming infected. Here, we explore case count outcomes when utilizing lockdown and testing under different testing measures and transmissibility settings. Methods: We built a mathematical model which estimates transmission across 10 different blocks with 1000 individuals per block under different parameter combinations and testing conditions over the period of 1 month. We vary parameters including differences in block connectivity, underlying recovered proportions at the time of intervention, case importation rates and testing protocols using either PCR or rapid antigen testing. Results: We estimate that a relatively transmissible environment with fortnightly PCR testing at a relatively low initial recovered proportion of 40%, low connectivity where 10% of contacts occurred outside of the infected individuals’ block and a high importation rate of [Formula presented] per day, results in an average of 39 (95%Interval: 9–121) new COVID-19 cases after one month of observation. Similar results were observed for weekly rapid antigen testing at 33 (9–95) cases. Interpretation: Our findings support the need for either fortnightly PCR testing or weekly rapid antigen testing in high population density environments such as migrant worker dormitories. Repeated mass testing is highly effective, preventing localized site outbreaks and reducing the need for site wide lockdowns or other extensive social distancing measures within and outside of dormitories.
ISSN: 2666-6235
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmh.2022.100079
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