70 new coronavirus patients in Singapore, of which 41 are imported cases

All in, 41 of the 70 new cases announced are imported. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced 70 new cases of Covid-19 infection on Saturday (March 28), bringing the total of those infected here to 802.

The announcement comes after the authorities said that all long-term visit pass (LTVP) holders, including those who had been granted in-principle approval for an LTVP, and student pass holders, would have to obtain approval from the Government before entering Singapore from 11.59pm on Sunday.

Among the cases announced on Saturday is one new case linked to the cluster at the PCF Sparkletots pre-school in Fengshan. There are now 26 cases linked to the pre-school.

Another two cases were linked to the new cluster at SingPost Centre, which was announced on Friday. This means there are five cases linked to this cluster.

In a statement on Saturday night, a SingPost spokesman said that the new patients from the cluster worked on the same floor as the three previously infected employees, two of whom were full-time employees, and one of whom was a contract staff.

All those in the SingPost cluster had worked at the packet-sorting facility at SingPost, which is a restricted, staff-only area that cannot be accessed by members of public, said the spokesman.

He added that staff members working at the packet-sorting facility use a separate staff entrance at the back of the SingPost building and do not pass through the SingPost Centre shopping mall when they enter or leave their workplace.

Close contacts of all the confirmed cases at the SingPost cluster had been served quarantine orders.

SingPost had suspended its packet-sorting operations on Thursday for cleaning and disinfection after the first cases were confirmed.

On Saturday night, SingPost said the National Environment Agency had given it the go-ahead to resume packet-sorting operations on Sunday.

"All affected staff are not postmen and therefore have no contact with members of public in their line of work," SingPost's spokesman added.

Of the 70 new coronavirus cases announced by MOH on Saturday, 29 are local cases, and the remaining 41 are imported.

A total of 198 have recovered, of which 15 were announced to have been discharged on Saturday. Of the 420 still in hospital, most are stable or improving, while 19 are in critical care.

The Government had announced earlier on Saturday that LTVP holders and those granted an in-principle approval who are planning to enter or return to Singapore must obtain the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) permission before they start their journey to Singapore by submitting their application for entry via e-mail.

Existing student pass holders and those who have been granted in-principle approval for a student pass must obtain the Ministry of Education's (MOE) permission before starting their journey to the Republic.

MOE said it will take into consideration the course in which the student is enrolled and prioritise entry approval for those studying in publicly funded institutes of higher learning.

Student pass holders and those who have been granted an in-principle approval for a student pass should submit their applications to their educational institution, which will then forward their application to MOE, the ministry said.

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