On Thursday (April 9), Singapore has seen its highest number of cases in a day at 287, bringing the total number of cases in Singapore to 1,910 as the global number of people infected crossed the 1.5 million mark.
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Out of these numbers, foreign workers in dormitories accounted for 202 of the new cases, but just as much of a concern was the spread of the virus in the wider community.
Gov’t Ramps Up Efforts to Curb Spread of Coronavirus as Cases Reach Highest Record in a Day
In a statement by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday, social gatherings are still taking place, despite the more than 10,000 written advisories issued over the past two days to those who did not observe safe distancing, as shared in a report by the Straits Times.
Minister Gan pointed out that this situation can not continue, appealing to all residents to stay at home.
Also, the minister explained that parents will no longer be allowed to drop children off at their grandparents’ homes daily, to protect vulnerable seniors from becoming infected.
Meanwhile, children whose parents both work in essential services should be left at childcare facilities as far as possible, although exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.
Moreover, all stadiums will be shut off from the public starting Thursday, as people had continued to gather there in groups to exercise despite stricter rules on social distancing.
For his part, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong shared that enforcement efforts will be stepped up against those who continue to flout safe distancing measures.
Also, to cut the chain of transmission in dormitories, thousands of foreign workers who are healthy – especially those working in essential services – will be moved to locations such as army camps, floating hotels and vacant Housing Board blocks, and testing for them will be ramped up.
Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean has been in communication with the task force tackling the situation in dormitories, noting that the police and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are also involved in operations.
Commenting on the recent spike in cases in Singapore, the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) director of medical services Kenneth Mak disclosed that preliminary investigations have linked the cluster at Mustafa Center with clusters at the construction site at Project Glory and five dormitories.
According to Minister Wong, the foreign workers are believed to have been infected after visiting Mustafa Centre, where some employees had fallen ill.
Because of this situation, the SAF and police are now working with the Manpower Ministry and dormitory operators to manage dorms.
This means that sanitation protocols in dorms will also be improved and contact reduced to prevent the spread of the disease.
Wong also noted that despite circuit breaker measures rolled out on Tuesday, some people were still not following instructions to stay home.
Regarding the dire situation in the country right now, Minister Wong shared: “We hope that Singaporeans will comply, not just because of the enforcement efforts that are ongoing, but really out of a necessity for all of us to do our part and ensure that this circuit breaker truly has an impact on controlling the spread of the virus.“
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