Coronavirus: 40 new cases here, with 30 imported

Travellers are seen through arrival gates at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal One in Singapore, on March 19, 2020.
Travellers are seen through arrival gates at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal One in Singapore, on March 19, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Remaining 10 cases locally transmitted, with 7 linked to previous cases and 3 unlinked

Singapore has confirmed 40 new Covid-19 cases, including 30 that are imported, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday.

Almost all of the imported cases were returning residents and long-term pass holders, and had a travel history to Europe, North America, South-east Asia and other parts of Asia, with the largest number coming from Britain.

Of the remaining 10 cases announced yesterday which were locally transmitted, seven were linked to previous cases, while three were currently unlinked.

This brings the total number of infected patients here to 385.

Of these, almost half - 189 - were imported cases.

The latest local cluster to emerge here involves the Masjid Al-Muttaqin in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, which now has three cases.

More stringent social distancing measures to reduce local transmission were announced by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday, which complement other efforts such as border control and enhanced hygiene.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) supports the new measures.

Mosques here have been closed since March 13 for cleaning after Singaporeans were infected when they attended a large religious gathering in Kuala Lumpur, and returned to worship in various local mosques.


"In preparing for the opening of the mosques on March 27, Muis has already been putting in place enhanced measures such as temperature taking and contact tracing, as well as incorporating social distancing in religious activities at mosques," said Muis.

MOH said seven more cases have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of patients who have recovered to 131.

Of the 254 patients still in hospital, 16 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

As of noon yesterday, the ministry said it has identified 7,065 close contacts who have been quarantined.

Of these, 2,437 are currently quarantined, and 4,628 have completed their quarantine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2020, with the headline '40 new cases here, with 30 imported'. Print Edition | Subscribe