SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 49 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Mar 24), of which 32 were imported infections.
This takes the country's total to 558 cases.
The 32 imported cases had travel history to Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, ASEAN and other parts of Asia. All except two were returning residents and long term pass holders.
Of the imported cases, 25 are Singapore citizens or permanent residents while five are long term visitor pass holders.
Four of the 49 new cases are linked to previous cases, while 13 cases are currently unlinked, and contact tracing is ongoing, said the health ministry.
"Contact tracing is underway for 41 locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions," said MOH.
Three more people have recovered and were discharged, bringing the total to 155. Two patients died last Saturday.
Of the 401 patients still in hospital, most are stable or improving. Seventeen patients are receiving treatment in the intensive care unit and remain critically ill.
READ: COVID-19 temporary measures: Gatherings outside of school and work limited to 10 people, entertainment venues to close
EVENTS GATHERINGS LIMITED TO 10 OR FEWER PEOPLE
Gatherings outside school and work will be limited to a maximum of 10 people from Thursday at 11.59pm to Apr 30 this year, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force said on Tuesday.
The task force said that it will also close all entertainment venues such as night clubs, discos, karaoke outlets, cinemas and theatres where it said there is a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time.
All centre-based tuition and enrichment classes will be suspended.
The task force also said that returning travellers from the United Kingdom and the United States will need to serve their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities such as hotels, to avoid the potential spread of the virus to their family members.
A Community Isolation Facility began operating on Tuesday as well, where COVID-19 patients who have no symptoms but are still testing positive for the coronavirus will be isolated, in order to free up resources at hospitals.
MOH said on Monday that patients with COVID-19 who are "well and stable" will be transferred to selected private hospitals so that the public sector can have the capacity to manage more severe cases.
"As the number of COVID-19 cases rise globally and the virus spreads across the world, we expect the number of cases in Singapore to increase.
"As part of our emergency response plan, the Ministry of Health has already put in place plans to expand our hospital and clinical services capacities to deal with increasing demand," said MOH in response to media queries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will deliver a ministerial statement on Thursday regarding the Government’s additional support measures for workers, businesses and households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ: People with COVID-19 are ‘most infectious’ in first 7 days after developing symptoms: NCID consultant
In a Facebook post on Monday, Mr Heng said the "supplementary budget" will support Singaporeans amid the outbreak, which has "inevitably taken a big toll on our economy".
"This is a Budget to support Singaporeans to stay united and resilient. This is the first time that we are introducing a supplementary budget so soon after the main budget, reflecting how fast the situation has deteriorated over the past weeks," he wrote.