Singapore’s COVID-19 cases exceed 3,000 with 334 new infections; situation remains ‘critical’

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore reported 334 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the national total to 3,252.

None of the new cases are imported.

Of the new cases, 189 are linked to previously identified clusters and 23 are linked to other local cases.

A total of 122 are still unlinked, pending contact tracing. Of these, 24 are Singapore citizens and the remaining 98 are long-term pass holders.

Nine patients have died from complications due to COVID-19.

People wearing protective face masks walk along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore, Friday, April 10, 2020. The Singapore government put in place “circuit breaker” measures in the light of a sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in recent days. Under the measures which will last through May 4, people have to stay home and step out only for essential tasks, such as going to work if they are in essential services, buying food and groceries, or for a short bout of exercise. (PHOTO: AP)

At a press conference yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that by and large, Singaporeans are taking circuit breaker measures seriously, but the country cannot be complacent.

The minister, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force set up to handle the COVID-19 situation, said, “We remain in a critical situation, the number of cases has been increasing.”

Singapore has put in place strict safe distancing measures during what it calls a circuit breaker period to stem the spread of COVID-19. The measures – which include closing non-essential workplaces and schools – will be in place for one month until May 4.

He noted that Monday’s tally, 386, was the highest daily total so far.

The number of cases among foreign workers, especially those in dormitories, rose sharply to around 200 cases per day, reaching about 300 cases on Monday, he added.

“This increase is likely to continue as we undertake more testing in the dormitories. The outbreak in the foreign worker dormitories has become an important front in our fight against COVID-19,” he said.

A large number of Singapore’s recent COVID-19 cases have been linked to foreign worker dormitories. Eight dormitories have been declared isolation areas, meaning residents have to be quarantined in their rooms.