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COVID-19 Update: Record 447 new coronavirus cases in S’pore, of which 404 are linked to dormitories

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Singapore reported a record 447 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (Apr 15), taking the national total to 3,699. 

Of the new cases, 68 per cent are linked to previously identified clusters, while contact tracing is ongoing for the remaining cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update.

A total of 404 new cases are from foreign worker dormitories. Five are work permit holders living outside the dormitories. 

As for local cases in the community, 38 cases were reported on Wednesday.

There were no new imported cases.

Four new clusters were identified.

MOH added that 41 more people have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 652 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged.

There are 1,496 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, and most are stable or improving. 

A total of 26 patients are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, while 1,540 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.

An 80 year-old Malaysian who tested positive for the coronavirus posthumously died on Tuesday from causes not related to COVID-19, said the ministry. He was case 3381.

Mandatory To Wear A Mask

It is now mandatory to wear a mask when stepping out of the house. Those caught refusing to wear a mask will be fined S$300 on their first offence, while those who flout the rule a second time will be fined S$1,000. Egregious cases will be prosecuted in court.

Announcing the new measure on Tuesday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said this applies to all workplaces as well. 

Foreign residents caught breaching these rules might have their work passes or permanent resident status revoked.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Tuesday said that by and large, Singaporeans are taking circuit breaker measures seriously, but the country cannot be complacent.

Mr Gan, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force set up to handle the COVID-19 situation, said: “We remain in a critical situation, the number of cases has been increasing.”

Singapore has put in place strict safe distancing measures during what it calls a circuit breaker period to stem the spread of COVID-19. The measures – which include closing non-essential workplaces and schools – will be in place for one month until May 4.

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