Coronavirus: 4,500 stay-home notices issued, including to those returning from South Korea's Daegu and Cheongdo

People with surgical masks in Changi Airport Terminal 3 on Feb 13, 2020. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said it had issued 4,535 stay-home notices as of Tuesday morning (March 3). ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Immigration officers have issued over 4,500 stay-home notices as of Tuesday morning (March 3), including to those returning from South Korea's Daegu city and Cheongdo county.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said it has issued 4,535 such notices as of 8am. Those given the stay-home notice cannot leave their homes for 14 days.

ICA added that the notices were issued to Singapore residents and pass holders, including students and foreign workers, who had been to Daegu, Cheongdo and mainland China, excluding Hubei, in the last 14 days.

The first stay-home notices kicked in from 11.59pm on Feb 18, and were originally introduced for people with recent travel history to China, excluding Hubei. Those returning from Hubei are quarantined instead.

Singapore extended the scheme to cover those returning from Daegu and Cheongdo from 11.59pm last Wednesday, after coronavirus cases in the two Korean locations soared. Visitors from the two areas were also barred from entry into Singapore.

Restrictions were extended on Tuesday to the rest of South Korea, northern Italy and Iran after a spike in cases in those areas. The measures take effect from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

Of the over 4,800 people confirmed infected in South Korea as of Tuesday, nearly 90 per cent are from Daegu and the neighbouring province of North Gyeongsang.

Over half are from Daegu city's Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a fringe Christian group which has been called a cult.

Those who flout stay-home rules can be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act. They can be fined up to $10,000, jailed up to six months, or both, for the first offence.

For subsequent offences, this can go up to a maximum fine of $20,000 and up to a year's jail.

Permanent residents and pass holders may have the validity of their re-entry permits or passes shortened or even revoked.

Citizens and permanent residents who need help during the stay-home period can call ComCare on 1800-222-0000.

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