For breaching the safe distancing measures implemented by the Government to curb the spread of COVID-19, nine more repeat offenders will be slapped with a fine amounting to S$1,000 each. This was announced by Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli in a Facebook post on Monday (20 April).
He added that police officers spotted more than 200 individuals who failed to adhere to the safe distancing rules, and 80 of them did not adorn a mask when they ventured outside of their house.
“Today, our officers came across more than 200 people who did not comply with safe distancing measures, and 80 who did not wear a mask outside their home. All of them face fines,” Mr Masagos wrote.
He added, “Regrettably, 9 will face a fine of S$1,000 for committing these offences a second time.”
Commenting on repeat offenders, Mr Masagos said, “If these are acts of defiance and irresponsibility, they clearly undermine the efforts that everyone else has been making. What will it take to get them to understand that they are putting everyone’s safety at stake?”
The additional nine individuals who face fine are on top of the more than 10 people who were fined on Sunday for breaching safe distancing measures for the second time.
The Minister explained that cities that are densely populated and has cultural characteristic of close social interaction, like Singapore, are extremely vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus.
Therefore, he urged people to comply with the circuit breaker measures implemented by the Government to stem the spread of the virus in Singapore.
He said that staying at home is still the best option, and if people have to leave the house to get essential items, then they should do it quickly and be back home soonest possible.
“Remember to wear a mask and observe safe distancing measures at all times. If you encounter long queues at the supermarkets or markets, head home and visit another time during off-peak hours, or buy your groceries at a place near your home and when it is less crowded,” Mr Masagos noted.
He continued, “Please do not linger outside. Staying out and meeting people puts you and your families at risk of contracting the virus.”
COVID-19 is highly contagious
In the post, Mr Masagos also said that COVID-19 is known to be “highly contagious” and “infected numbers can grow exponentially”.
Citing estimates from the World Health Organization on the infection rate of the virus, he stated that each COVID-19 carrier can infect between two to 2.5, and “these two others can go on to infect another two”.
“If unfettered, in 10 incubation cycles, or a month, that one person could potentially infect a thousand,” he added.
He went on to state that this figure is also compounded by those who don’t necessarily show symptoms of the virus, and “a good number only has mild symptoms”.
“As such, in an uncontrolled situation, some of the thousand infected could spread the virus in their community unknowingly,” he stressed.
Due to this, Mr Masagos said that if the safe distancing measures are not adhered properly, then it will lead to “widespread community transmission”.
“This is why we must remain vigilant and muster the resolve to abide to circuit breaker measures. They may entail some inconvenience, but the daily news reports of dire situations in other countries, including second wave infections, are sobering reminders of the risks and high stakes of this pandemic, as are surprising and worrying facts about the virus we discover on a daily basis from the global scientific community,” he asserted.
On Monday, Singapore recorded its highest daily toll to date of COVID-19 when the Ministry of Health confirmed 1,426 new cases of the virus.
The new confirmed cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Singapore to 8,014, making it the country with the highest cases in Southeast Asia.