COVID-19: Singapore confirms 40 new cases, including 30 imported; total at 385

A woman wears a face mask inside a shop as a preventive measure against COVID-19 in Singapore on 20 March, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)
A woman wears a face mask inside a shop as a preventive measure against COVID-19 in Singapore on 20 March, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Friday (20 March) 40 new cases of COVID-19 here, bringing the total to 385.

This is the second-highest number of cases reported in a day, after Wednesday's 47.

Of the 40 new cases, 30 are imported. 22 of them are Singapore residents – Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents, seven are long-term pass holders while the remaining case is a short-term pass holder.

Of the 30 imported cases, 18 had travel history to the UK. Seven of the remaining 10 local cases are linked to previous patients, while three currently have no established links.

The ages of all 40 cases ranged from 19 to 73. None of them are linked to any existing clusters yet.


Separately, the MOH said that seven more cases have been discharged from hospital. In all, 131 have fully recovered and have been discharged, about 34 per cent of the total number of cases.

  1. Case 108: 34-year-old Filipina, who holds a Singapore work pass, linked to Wizlearn Technologies

  2. Case 132: 37-year-old female Singapore PR who travelled to London

  3. Case 133: 62-year-old Indonesian woman

  4. Case 143: 42-year-old male Singapore PR who travelled to Thailand

  5. Case 168: 47-year-old Singaporean man

  6. Case 179: 66-year-old Singaporean woman who travelled to Malaysia; linked to SAFRA Jurong private dinner function

  7. Case 218: 55-year-old Singaporean woman linked to SAFRA Jurong private dinner function

Most of the remaining 254 hospitalised patients are stable or improving. 16 remain in critical condition in the intensive care unit, up from 15 on Thursday.

As of Friday, contact tracing is underway for 24 locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions. Based on daily figures released by the ministry, there are over 190 local transmissions and around 190 imported cases.

As of noon, the MOH has identified 7,065 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,437 are currently quarantined, and 4,628 have completed their quarantine.


Enhanced border control measures

All travellers entering Singapore must serve the 14-day stay-home notice from 11.59pm on Friday, while Singaporeans have been urged to defer all travel abroad immediately.

All short-term visitors are required to provide proof of the place where they will serve their notice, which bars them from leaving the premises during the period.

In addition, those who are ASEAN nationals – from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – must submit requisite health information for approval before travelling here.

Similarly, all new and existing work pass holders – including their dependants – planning to enter or return to Singapore from any country will have to obtain the Ministry of Manpower's approval before commencing their journey.

“Even with these controls, we have to be mentally prepared for the number of imported cases to increase, because more Singaporeans want to come back – students, people working overseas,” National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who is the taskforce’s co-chair, said at a doorstop on Wednesday.

“But at least with the new measures, we can ensure that all arrivals will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, and we will enforce this strictly.”

Short-term visitors with recent travel history to mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Spain remain banned from entering Singapore.

Any traveller exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever will continue to be subjected to a nasal swab test for the coronavirus across all checkpoints.

As of Friday, there are over 255,000 COVID-19 cases globally, Over 10,400 have succumbed to the virus, the majority of them in China and Italy. The latter is now the country with the highest number of fatalities, surpassing China’s official count early Friday morning.

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