COVID-19: S'pore confirms new single-day high of 47 cases including 33 imported, total 313

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor
People wearing protective masks are seen inside a public bus after crossing from Johor Bahru, Malaysia on 17 March, 2020, in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (18 March) confirmed a new single-day high of 47 COVID-19 cases in Singapore, bringing the total to 313.

This is about twice the previous single-day high of 23 cases reported on Tuesday.

Of the 47 new cases, 33 are imported, with the latter group comprising 30 Singapore residents and long-term pass holders and three short-term visitors.

Speaking at a multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on the coronavirus doorstop on Wednesday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who is the MTF co-chair, said, “We expect to see higher numbers in time to come. We must do all we can to keep the number as low as possible.”

Lawrence Wong, MTF co-chair, who was also at the doorstop, said the rise in imported cases in recent days is a big concern.

“We have said this before – fortunately, we have been able to pick them up early, some even right at the airport, some shortly after they come home and see a doctor, and we know that these cases have not gone on to spread to other people. But we cannot afford to take further risks. The numbers of these imported cases are here to rise.

“That is why we are imposing additional border controls and travel restrictions today. For outgoing travellers, we are raising the advisory from deferring non-essential travel to deferring all travel,” added Wong, who is also National Development Minister.

Apart from the 33 imported cases, the other remaining new cases comprised two linked to the clusters at Church of Singapore at Bukit Timah and Boulder+ gym, one linked to a new cluster at Masjid Al Muttaqin at 5140 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, six linked to previous cases, and five that are currently unlinked.

Two other previously announced confirmed cases are also linked to the Masjid Al-Muttaqin cluster.

Apart from the Masjid Al-Muttaqin cluster (three cases), the other clusters are the Life Church and Missions Singapore and the Grace Assembly of God cluster (33 cases), Wizlearn Technologies (14 cases), the dinner event at SAFRA Jurong on 15 February (47 cases), the Boulder+ gym (four cases), and the Church of Singapore at Bukit Timah (five cases).

Contact tracing is underway for the 17 locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions.

To date, a total of 117 cases have recovered and have been discharged from hospital. Of the 196 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. 15 are in the intensive care unit.

As of Wednesday, 12pm, the MOH has identified 6,250 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,221 are currently quarantined, and 4,029 have completed their quarantine.

A total of 47 new cases of COVID-19 infection were reported on 18 March 2020. (SUMMARY of Cases 267-272: Ministry of Health)
A total of 47 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore were reported on 18 March 2020. (SUMMARY of Cases 273-285: Ministry of Health)
A total of 47 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore were reported on 18 March 2020. (SUMMARY of Cases 286-297: Ministry of Health)
A total of 47 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore were reported on 18 March 2020. (SUMMARY of Cases 298-309: Ministry of Health)