Singapore in a state of heightened alert, stricter measures from May 16

SINGAPORE: Looking at the increasing number of cases in the community, from coming May 16 till June 13, Singaporeans can expect the Covid-19 precautionary measures to be further tightened to decisively arrest new cases.

At a virtual press conference today, the co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on Covid-19 Gan Kim Yong said although Singapore had already tightened on its precautionary measures on May 8, a significant increase in community cases has been reported.

“In the past week, there were 71 locally transmitted cases. Most of them linked to previous cases or clusters. But we had 15 unlinked cases.

“This is worrying as we are not able to identify the source of these infections. It means that there are undetected cases in the community,” said Gan who is also the republic’s Minister for Health.

Gan pointed out a wide net has been cast and swift actions have been taken to detect, isolate, and ring-fence any possible emerging transmissions.

“Close contacts are under quarantine, and some of them may turn positive over the next few days as they may be incubating the virus.

“We are in a state of heightened alert. We need to act decisively to disrupt the virus transmission. We will therefore further tighten safe management measures in the community,” said Gan.

Hence, Gan said the MTF will move to impose targeted restrictions on higher risk settings such as those where there is a high density of people who remain unmasked for prolonged periods.

Among the tighter measures include, the current permissible group size of up to five persons will further be reduced to up to two persons.

Meanwhile, work-from-home will be the default at workplaces and indoor “mask-off” activities such as dine-in Food and Beverage (F&B) establishments will cease during this period.

Dine-in F&B establishments, including hawker centres and food courts, both indoor and outdoor, will only be able to offer takeaway and delivery options.

Most recently, the republic has an emerging cluster at Changi Airport Terminal 3 with a total of 46 cases to date.

Besides that, several clusters of infections have been detected emerging in the past two weeks around an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer and his extended family, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Tuas South Community Care Facility, and Pasir Panjang Terminal.

As at noon yesterday, Singapore has a total caseload of 61,453 with 11 open clusters at the moment.

Up to Thursday, the MTF said Singapore has administered more than 3.2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine with 1.3 million individuals having received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen, it said. – Bernama