As of 18 March 2020, 12 pm, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed and verified 47 more cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore. Of these:
- 33 are imported cases (Cases 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 284, 285, 286, 292, 293, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 304, 306, 307, 308, 309, 312, 313) with travel history to Europe, North America, ASEAN and parts of Asia;
- 30 were returning residents and long-term pass holders
- Three were short term visitors
- Two (Cases 283 and 305) are linked to the clusters at Church of Singapore (Bukit Timah) and boulder+ Gym;
- One (Case 310) is linked to Cases 183 and 252 at the cluster at Masjid Al Muttaqin;
- Six are linked to previous cases (Case 294 is linked to Cases 225 and 237; Case 287 is linked to Case 266; Case 289 is linked to Case 212, Case 291 is linked to Case 260; Case 303 is linked to Case 248; and Case 311 is linked to Case 234); and
- Five are currently unlinked (Cases 273, 275, 288, 290, 302).
That makes a total of 313 infected cases in Singapore so far.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong stated that most of these cases are imported ones and the majority are Singaporeans and residents coming back from overseas.
“We cannot afford to take further risk if the number of these imported cases continue to rise,” the minister said, adding that he expects the number of cases to increase, however, Singapore’s healthcare capacity is “designed to handle them”.
“So 47 is the highest single day so far, but we do see the number going up. Many residents have returned to Singapore, even before we introduced the Stay-Home Notice and the current travel advisory. We do expect some of them to be infected. They are now in the incubation period and in the next two or three weeks, we will see some of these infected cases emerging,” he said.
He then noted that the additional social distancing measures, particularly for the more vulnerable such as the elderly, will help to further reduce the risk of transmission in our local community.
Update on condition of confirmed cases
To date, a total of 117 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from the hospital. Of the 196 confirmed cases who are still in the hospital, most are stable or improving. 15 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Singaporeans advised to defer all travel abroad
In view of the heightened risk of further importation of COVID-19 to Singapore, Singaporeans are advised to defer all travel abroad with immediate effect. This supercedes the earlier advisory announced on 15 March to defer all non-essential travel abroad. The expansion of the travel advisory is to reduce the risk of Singaporeans being infected with the virus when abroad, and spreading it to other Singaporeans when they return.
14-Day Stay-Home Notice for all travellers
To further reduce the risk of further importation leading to a community spread in Singapore, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce will put in place additional measures for all travellers entering Singapore. From 20 March 2020, 2359 hours, all Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Long Term Pass holders and short term visitors entering Singapore will be issued a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). They will have to provide proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day SHN, for example a hotel booking covering the entire period, or a place of residence they or their family members own.
As announced previously, short-term visitors with recent travel history to mainland China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Republic of Korea and Spain, are not allowed to enter or transit in Singapore.
For the land crossings with Malaysia, there are already restrictions imposed by Malaysia under their Movement Control Order. The Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee (co-chaired by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, and Malaysian Senior Minister and Minister of Defence Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ir. Hasni Mohammad) are discussing a joint mitigation plan to ensure the safe and sustainable movement of people, goods and services between the two countries. More details will be announced when ready.
Persons under SHN will have to remain in their place of residence at all times for 14 days after entering Singapore.
The existing measures which apply to all inbound travellers, such as requiring those who exhibit fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoints, will continue to apply.