Coronavirus: 23 new cases in Singapore including 18 imported; 4 recovered

Clay Curtis
March 23, 2020

For work pass holders, only those involved in essential services like transport and healthcare would be allowed in.

Previously, apart from a handful of countries, short-term visitors from elsewhere were allowed to come into Singapore but were issued a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) upon arrival.

Singapore will significantly tighten borders from 11.59pm today, with all short-term visitors no longer allowed to enter or transit through the country in a move to reduce the risk of importing coronavirus cases.

A 75-year-old female Singapore Citizen and a 64-year-old male Indonesian national were the two patients that succumbed to health complications due to the Covid-19, said the MOH in a press release. This meant, however, that resources were being expended to serve and enforce SHNs on them, and if they fell ill, to provide them with medical treatment. Of the 39 imported cases reported on Saturday, six were of short-term visitors.

Of these cases, 18 were imported cases that had travelled to Australia, Europe, North America, Asean and other parts of Asia.

Despite the fact that few short-term visitors to the country have been diagnosed with the disease, the authorities chose to tighten its borders so that they could conserve the resources and focus them on returning Singaporeans, Wong said.

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Twenty-three new coronavirus cases were announced on Sunday night (March 22) by the Ministry of Health (MOH), bringing the total number in Singapore to 455.

The Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee has agreed that Malaysians with Singapore work permits will continue to be able to work in Singapore during this period, with appropriate accommodation arrangements. "We have announced a series of safe distancing measures yesterday and we must all take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe", he said.

The MOH said nearly 80 per cent of new cases here over the past three days were imported, majority Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from overseas.

As of Saturday evening, a total of 432 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country.

"But this is an unprecedented crisis", he said.

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