Singaporeans should try to stay at home during this time. This was the appeal at a press conference on Tuesday (March 24) by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, who chairs the multi-ministry task force on the Covid-19 crisis.
He said: “Our key message to all Singaporeans is stay at home as much as you can. Go out if you need to work, go to school, go out for essential tasks, but otherwise stay at home, reduce your social gatherings and all other activities for the next one month.”
According to Yahoo Singapore, Mr Wong said that the threat that the outbreak could still become widespread is “very real” because the number of confirmed cases, especially imported ones, is still on the rise.
He added that the risk that locally-transmitted cases will also be on the increase is also present.
Mr Wong reminded the public to continue the practice of safe distancing and to cut down on social activities. And while public spaces are notably less crowded, he said that some changes to people’s daily lives are not happening quickly enough.
He said: “The virus isn’t going to wait for us. It is continuing to spread and circulate in our population, and anytime you can get an outbreak.
“It is of great concern that you still hear stories of people gathering together. You still hear anecdotes of people gathering in clubs, in discos, where there are large social gatherings which can easily become super-spreader events, and then another cluster will break out after that.”
Another new measure announced to stem the spread Covid-19 is the closure of night spots such as bars, clubs, discos, cinemas, theatres and karaoke joints until the end of next month.
Events have also been cancelled, and people may no longer gather in groups larger than 10 apart from work or school. Religious services have been suspended, as well as enrichment classes and tuition that are held in learning centres.
Mr Wong added: “It is only by all of us reducing our activity level and the intensity of our contacts – that’s the only way where we can significantly reduce the chance of this virus spreading further in our community. And so this is a collective endeavour and we need Singaporeans to really take this task seriously.”
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who co-chairs the task force, said at the same press conference that around 1,000 citizens, PRs and long-term pass holders are going overseas daily, according to data from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, despite calls by the task force not to go overseas during this time.
“These individuals pose a risk to the health of fellow Singaporeans when they return,” he was reported as saying by todayonline.com.
Residents and long-term pass holders who exit the country starting from Friday (March 27) will pay the full fees in public hospitals in case they get admitted as possible Covid-19 cases within 14 days of their return. In addition, they will not be able to file claims under Integrated Shield Plans or MediShield plans for treatment related to Covid-19 from private and public hospitals. /TISG