Coronavirus: Singapore reports 52 new cases, 28 from overseas

Travellers at Changi Airport Terminal 2 on March 24, 2020. Of the 52 new Covid-19 cases announced by the Ministry of Health on March 26, 28 were imported.
Travellers at Changi Airport Terminal 2 on March 24, 2020. Of the 52 new Covid-19 cases announced by the Ministry of Health on March 26, 28 were imported.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Singapore announced 52 new coronavirus cases on Thursday (March 26), with 28 of the new patients contracting the virus overseas.

All except two of the 28 were returning residents or long-term pass holders who had travelled to Europe, North America, Middle East or other parts of Asia.

The remaining 24 cases were locally transmitted and 10 are linked to existing clusters or previous cases. Of these, two are linked to the new cluster at the PCF Sparkletots pre-school in Fengshan, and one is linked to the new cluster at Dover Court International School.

There are now 20 cases linked to the Fengshan pre-school cluster, 15 of whom are staff there. The remaining five are family members of the school's principal.

All four cases in the international school cluster are staff at the school.

One of the unlinked cases is a 32-year-old woman with no travel history to affected countries. She is an associate consultant at the National Skin Centre and was working before the onset of symptoms on Tuesday, March 24.

Contact tracing is ongoing for the 14 unlinked cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

A total of 172 have recovered and been discharged so far. However, of the 422 still in hospital, 18 are in critical care. Two patients had died on Saturday from complications due to the Covid-19 infection.

Patients who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19 were moved to Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, and the community isolation facility at D'Resort NTUC.

 
 
 

MOH said 3,216 close contacts are currently in quarantine, and 6,555 close contacts have completed their quarantine.

Numbers are expected to rise still as some of the 200,000 overseas Singaporeans return home, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament on Wednesday (March 25).

Singapore has announced increasingly strict measures to fight the spread of the virus, including limiting all gatherings outside of work or school to 10 people or less, and imposing penalties on those with acute respiratory symptoms, who leave their homes while on their five-day sick leave.

From 11.59pm on Thursday (March 26), all entertainment venues like bars, cinemas, and karaoke outlets, will be closed till April 30. Malls, museums and restaurants must reduce crowd density to stay open, and all centre-based tuition, enrichment classes and religious services have been suspended.

To mitigate the impact of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Thursday (March 26) that an additional $48.4 billion will be set aside to support businesses, workers and families.

 
 
 

This is on top of the $6.4 billion in measures previously announced to cushion the fallout from the virus outbreak.

Some of the new measures include tripling cash payouts to up to $900 and a $1.2 billion relief scheme for self-employed persons which will disburse $1,000 a month to eligible self-employed persons for nine months. The Government will also freeze all government fees, school loans and late payment charges for a year.

The virus has killed more than 21,200 people, and sickened over 468,000 people worldwide.