54 new coronavirus cases in S'pore in highest single-day spike; 48 cases imported

A thermal scanner at Jewel Changi Airport on March 21, 2020. The Ministry of Health announced an additional 48 imported and six local Covid-19 cases on March 23, 2020. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Singapore confirmed 54 new Covid-19 cases on Monday (March 23), with the overwhelming majority of the cases once again coming from overseas.

A total of 48 of the 54 are imported cases and all except one of the imported cases were returning residents and long-term pass holders.

The number set a new record for the number of cases announced in a day and came as the Government announced that all travellers arriving in Singapore - including Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders - must submit an online health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance.

Singapore on Sunday also announced that it will take the unprecedented step of barring all short-term visitors, including tourists.

The latest imported cases had travelled to Europe, North America and South-east Asia. Some 34 of the imported cases, or 70 per cent, had been to the UK.

The remaining six cases announced yesterday are currently not linked to travel or previous cases and contact-tracing is ongoing.

Some 57 per cent of all cases announced yesterday are under 30 years old.

This brings the total number of infected patients here to 509, of which 15 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Eight more cases have been discharged, meaning 152 have fully recovered.

A cluster comprising 33 patients from the Life Church and Missions and the Grace Assembly of God church, was also closed by MOH on Monday as it was no longer active.

To date, the ministry has identified 8,351 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,529 are currently quarantined, and 5,822 have completed their quarantine.

To help businesses and families cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will be presenting a supplementary Budget in Parliament on Thursday (March 26), and detail additional support measures to help workers, businesses and households.

The coronavirus has infected more than 343,000 people worldwide and killed more than 14,900.

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