SINGAPORE - The Republic has confirmed 49 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday (March 24) as students and workers continued to return home in droves from abroad.
A total of 32 of the 49 cases were imported by travellers who returned to Singapore. Of the 32, 25 are Singaporean citizens or residents, while five are long-term visitor pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Eight had travelled to Britain and six had arrived from the United States. The remaining travellers went to other countries including Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, the Philippines and Australia.
Of the 17 local cases announced, four cases are linked to previous cases while 13 are currently not linked to travel or previous cases. Contact tracing is being conducted.
With the new cases on Tuesday, the total number of imported cases is 326, nearly three in five of all 558 confirmed coronavirus cases in Singapore now.
Of the coronavirus patients here, 17 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 155 have recovered and two have died.
To date, the Ministry of Health has identified 8,822 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 2,803 are now quarantined, and 6,019 have completed it.
The number of new cases on Tuesday is a dip from the 54 cases on Monday, which set a new record for the number of cases announced in a day.
MOH also announced on Tuesday that all entertainment outlets will be closed, and gatherings outside work and school will be limited to 10 people or fewer, with people having to keep at least 1m apart when they interact for prolonged periods of time.
All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will be suspended too.
These are some of the strictest measures yet announced by the authorities to contain the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, amid a new wave of imported cases here.
The closure applies to all bars and entertainment venues, including night clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres and karaoke outlets, as well as places where there is a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time.
The measures will take effect on 11.59pm on Thursday and are likely to be in place until the end of April, at least.
On Monday night, Singapore made the unprecedented step of barring all short-term visitors, including tourists, from entering. In addition, the Government said that all travellers arriving here - including Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders - must submit an online health declaration before proceeding with immigration clearance.
To cope with the coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will be presenting a supplementary budget in Parliament on Thursday and will detail additional support measures to help workers, businesses and households.
The coronavirus has infected more than 378,000 people worldwide and killed more than 16,500.