COVID-19: Singapore confirms 49 new cases including 32 imported; total at 558

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (24 March) announced 49 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country’s total to 558.

Tuesday’s count is the second-highest after Monday’s announcement of 54 cases.

The 49 new cases ranged from 9 years old to 86 years old.

Of these, 32 are imported – 25 are Singapore residents, five are long-term pass holders who travelled to Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, South-East Asia and other parts of Asia and the remaining two are visitors. At least eight of them had travel history to the UK.

Out of the remaining 17 local transmissions, 13 currently have no established links while four are linked to previous cases.


Separately, the MOH said that three more cases have been discharged from hospital. They include:

  1. Case 94: 64-year-old Singaporean woman linked to SAFRA Jurong private dinner function

  2. Case 140: 62-year-old Singaporean woman linked to SAFRA Jurong private dinner function

  3. Case 520: 71-year-old Singaporean man

In all, 155 patients have fully recovered from the virus and have been discharged, about 28 per cent of the total number of cases.

Most of the remaining 401 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while 17 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, up from 15 on Monday.

Singapore’s first two deaths from COVID-19 – a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man – were announced by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Saturday.

Contact tracing is ongoing for a total of 41 locally-transmitted cases – out of over 230 local transmissions – to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions.

According to the MOH website, a total of 326 cases here are imported, of which only 42 are visitors.

As of Tuesday noon, the ministry has also identified 8,822 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,803 are currently quarantined, and 6,019 have completed their quarantine.


Stricter border restrictions

On Sunday, National Development Minister and multi-ministry taskforce co-chair Lawrence Wong announced that Singapore would be barring short-term visitors from entering or transiting via the country.

Previously, except for a handful of countries, short-term visitors were allowed to enter Singapore, with the condition that they serve a 14-day stay-home notice. Separately, for work pass holders, only those involved in essential services like transport and healthcare would be allowed in.

Singapore residents and long-term pass holders entering Singapore will have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice, regardless of travel history. Authorities have advised residents here to defer all travel abroad immediately.

Those who insist on travelling and are thereafter infected with the coronavirus within 14 days of returning to Singapore will be charged at unsubsidised rates for in-patient stay at public hospitals.

As of Tuesday, there are close to 396,000 COVID-19 cases globally, Over 17,000 have died from the virus, with the death tolls in China and Italy accounting for more than half of the figure.

Italy is now the country with the highest number of fatalities, surpassing China’s official count last week.

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