Singapore Reports 40 New Covid-19 Cases, Brings National Tally to 385

On Friday (20 Mar), the Ministry of Health reported 40 new cases of Covid-19 infections.

This brings the total number of cases in the country to 385.

Of the 40 new cases, 30 of them are imported. The remaining 10 are local transmissions.

Most imported cases travelled to UK, Indonesia & US

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), 22 of the 30 imported cases are Singapore citizens or permanent residents (PRs).

Many of them had recent travel history to:

  • United Kingdom
  • Indonesia
  • United States.

All events with 250 or more participants will be suspended

With the announcement of today’s cases, the government has also implemented stricter safe distancing measures.

From now till 30 Jun, all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants at one time will be suspended, according to MOH.

For events with less than 250 participants, organisers are required to put in place measures to ensure separation of at least 1m between participants.

1m distance between patrons at public venues

Similar measures are also implemented for public venues.

According to the Ministry of Health, public venue operators should ensure that queues are fast-moving by opening all counters.

Queues should also be demarcated so patrons can queue at least 1m apart from each other.

Customers should also be encouraged to carry out self-checkout to minimise contact with the employees.

F&B establishments and entertainment venues are also encouraged to adopt new measures so patrons are separated by at least 1m.

Employers “strongly advised” to allow staff to work from home.

At workplaces, employers are “strongly advised” to allow staff to work from home.

If working from home is not feasible, employers should consider the following options for their employees:

  • Staggered working hours
  • Reduce duration and proximity of physical interactions
  • Postpone non-critical events and reduce scale of critical work events.

Senior-centric activities suspended until 7 Apr

The Health Ministry has also introduced measures to safeguard senior citizens who are at higher risk of severe Covid-19 infection.

“Senior-centric” activities at community centres, residents’ committees, Senior Activity Centres, Active Ageing Hubs, CREST Centres, Health Promotion Board and ActiveSG will be suspended till 7 Apr.

This is a 2-week extension to the suspension announced last week.

In the same vein, all other activities that involve physical interaction between senior citizens should also be suspended from 22 Mar-7 Apr.

TraceTogether app will help track Covid-19 close contacts

The government has also launched the TraceTogether app to support ongoing contact tracing efforts.

Using the new app, phone users can detect other users of the app who are in close proximity — 2m apart, up to 5m for 30 minutes.

Authorities hope to identify 25-50% of close contacts using the new app, which can be downloaded by scanning the QR code below.

Source

Heartened by government’s new measures

While it is concerning that the number of imported Covid-19 cases remains high, we are heartened by new measures put in place by the government to curb the virus’ spread.

The introduction of the app is also an ingenious one — tapping into modern technology to hopefully solve a modern-day crisis.

Let’s hope it proves successful and will help contact tracers track down those who came into close contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Featured image adapted from Flickr