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COVID-19: Singapore closes schools, most workplaces

Singapore witnessed rise in local coronavirus cases in last week triggering ‘stricter measures’, says premier

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 03.04.2020
COVID-19: Singapore closes schools, most workplaces

ANKARA 

Singapore will close schools and most workplaces next week as part of measures to stem the spread of deadly coronavirus disease, the country’s premier said on Friday.

Speaking at a virtual news conference air live on social media, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the country was switching to “full home-based learning”.

“We are implementing significantly stricter measures,” Lee said.

“From coming Tuesday, we will also close most of the workplaces to limit physical interactions but essential services will continue to work as usual while switching to home-based learning in schools and higher institutes of learning,” he added.

Singapore has nearly 1,050 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which has killed five people.266 patients have so far recovered from the disease.

“This will [act] as circuit breaker to help bring down numbers,” Lee said.

The premier identified clusters of the virus at some dormitories and a nursing home.

“Singapore had fewer than 10 [COVID-19] cases a day 3 weeks ago; in last 2 week, we had 50 new cases daily,” he said, adding: “Most of the cases were imported from overseas, of whom mostly were Singaporeans returning home.”

However, he added that last week number of local cases began to rise. “This suggests there are more cases which are yet not identified.”

The premier added that essential services that include markets, supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and banking services will remain open.

Since appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The data shows more than 1 million cases have been reported worldwide so far, with the global death toll around 54,000, and recoveries nearing 217,500.

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