COVID-19: Singapore confirms 47 new cases, 39 of them imported; total 432

MRT commuters in Singapore. (PHOTO: Catherine Lai/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Saturday (21 March) 47 new cases of COVID-19 here, bringing the total to 432. The new cases are a joint single-day high with Wednesday’s cases.

The first two fatalities – a 75-year-old Singaporean and a 64-year-old Indonesian – were reported earlier on Saturday.

Of the 47 new cases, 39 are imported, with 33 of them being Singapore residents – Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents – and long-term pass holders, while the remaining six cases are short-term pass holders.

The imported cases had travel history to Australia, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and other parts of Asia. Of the eight local cases, two are linked to previous cases (case 388 is linked to case 351; and case 430 is linked to Case 350), while six are currently unlinked.

The ages of the new COVID-19 cases range from 19 to 77.

TABLE: MOH
TABLE: MOH
TABLE: MOH
TABLE: MOH

The MOH said that nine more cases have been discharged from hospital. In all, 140 have fully recovered and have been discharged.

Most of the remaining 290 hospitalised patients are stable or improving. Of these, 14 remain in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

As of Saturday noon, MOH has identified 7,544 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,587 are currently quarantined, and 4,957 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.

(TABLE: Ministry of Health)

“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 Saturday, there are over 284,000 COVID-19 cases globally, Over 11,800 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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