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Singapore bars long-term pass holders and short-term visitors from India

New measure follows worsening pandemic in India

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Singapore — Long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have travelled to India within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore.

According to the Straits Times, the restrictions will be put in place on Friday (Apr 23) at 11.59 pm, and will apply to people who have prior approval to enter Singapore. This was said by Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (April 22).

In addition, those who have recently travelled to India and have not completed their 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) by 11.59 pm on Thursday (Apr 22) will have to complete their additional seven-day SHN at a dedicated facility rather than at their place of residence.

This group will undergo three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the virus: when they arrive, on the 14th day of their SHN, and before the end of their SHN.

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Mr Wong has stated that the situation in India has worsened since the start of the week, which has led Singapore to tighten its border measures.

He added that the SHN period is not “100 per cent foolproof”, noting that any leaks among newly arrived Indian workers could possibly introduce new strains into dormitories and result in new clusters.

India reported 314,835 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday alone, the world’s biggest single-day surge. The country has recorded 16 million total cases and 186,928 deaths so far. A new “double-mutant” variant has also emerged in India,

The Ministry of Health (MOH) also confirmed on Thursday that 17 recovered workers at Westlite Woodlands dormitory were found to have Covid-19, although there is no evidence that these cases were linked to India or to the new viral strain that has emerged there.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who with Mr Wong co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling the pandemic, said Singapore is on heightened alert against the coronavirus, given the rising case numbers and emerging virus variants around the world.

The Health Ministry’s director of medical services Associate Professor Kenneth Mak warns that there will be an increase in cases of Covid-19 as more testing is done.

He also shared that viral variants including those found in Brazil and South Africa had been found in 342 imported cases. All cases were isolated on arrival and no community spread has been detected.

Denise Teh is an intern at The Independent SG. /TISGFollow us on Social Media

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