On Friday, April 3, the Singaporean government announced additional domestic restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures come in response to a recent surge in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city-state. As of Tuesday, April 7, most workplaces, except for essential services, will be required to shut down. Exemptions will be made for markets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport, and key banking services. Restaurants will remain open but will be restricted to takeaway or delivery. Additionally, beginning Wednesday, April 8, all schools will close and will transition to home-based learning. The measures will remain in place until Monday, May 4.
As of Friday, March 27, all bars and entertainment venues, including discos and cinemas, have been shut down and public gatherings of more than ten people outside of work and school prohibited.
To date, there are more than 1110 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Singapore, with five associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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