The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed two new cases of the COVID-19 infection as of 12 pm on March 3. Of these, one is linked to the cluster at Wizlearn Technologies Pte Ltd.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the island nation to 110. Of these 78 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital. Of the 32 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving with seven in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Case 109: A 70 year-old male Singapore Citizen who has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
He reported the onset of symptoms on February 25 and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on February 27 and 28. He presented at SGH on February 29 and was immediately isolated.
Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work at Fish Mart Sakuraya (154 West Coast Road) but had not served customers or handled food. He stays at Everton Park.
Case 110: A 33 year-old male Singapore Citizen who has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is linked to the cluster at Wizlearn Technologies Pte Ltd.
Case 108 (Announced on March 2): A 34 year-old female Filipino national who is a Singapore Work Pass holder, and has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. She is a foreign domestic worker employed by Case 101, and works in the same household as Case 102. She is currently warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH).
Prior to hospital admission, she had sought treatment for an unrelated condition at a dental clinic. She stays at Bukit Batok Street 24.
Additional precautionary measure put in place
Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce has put the following additional precautionary measures in place in view of the spread of the coronavirus across the globe:
- Singaporeans are advised to defer non-essential travel to Iran, northern Italy, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
- Singapore residents who need to travel to the affected regions are advised to regularly check the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) website for updates.
- From March 4, all new visitors with recent travel history to Iran, northern Italy or the Republic of Korea within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore. With immediate effect, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will suspend the issuance of all forms of new visas to those with Iranian passports. Previously issued short-term and multiple-visit visas for those with Iranian passports will also be suspended. During this period of suspension, they will not be allowed entry into Singapore.
From March 4, the following returning groups will be issued with a Stay-Home Notice (SHN):
- Residents (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) with recent travel history to Iran, northern Italy, or the Republic of Korea within the last 14 days; and
- Long-term pass holders (including work passes, Student’s Pass, Dependant’s Pass and Long-term Visit Pass) with recent travel history to Iran, northern Italy or the Republic of Korea within the last 14 days.
Under the SHN, they will have to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period after returning to Singapore.
Expanded clinical case definition
The MOH has expanded the definition of suspect cases to include persons with pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness who had been to Iran, northern Italy, Japan and the Republic of Korea within 14 days before onset of symptoms. Cases meeting the expanded definition will be referred to hospitals for further assessment.
From March 4, travellers entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness but who do not meet the clinical suspect case definition may be required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint. They may carry on with their journey immediately after undergoing the test. Pending the results, which may take between three and six hours, the travellers are advised to minimise contact with others as a precautionary measure. Individuals will be contacted on their swab test results and those with positive results will be conveyed to the hospital in a dedicated ambulance.
Short-term visitors who are identified for testing but refuse to do so will not be allowed entry into Singapore. Singapore Permanent Residents and long-term pass holders who refuse testing may have their immigration facilities and work pass privileges revoked or the validity shortened. All travellers, including Singapore Citizens, who do not comply with the testing or who cannot be contacted subsequently may face penalties and can be prosecuted under the Infectious Diseases Act.