SINGAPORE: Singapore on Friday (Mar 20) confirmed 40 new COVID-19 cases, of which 30 are imported infections.
This increase takes the national total to 385 cases.
Of the 30 imported cases, 22 of them are Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Seven others have long-term passes while one case has a short-term visit pass.
Many of the imported cases had travelled to the United Kingdom, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Of the new cases, 18 had been in the UK, with two cases also travelling to other European countries.
Three new cases had been in Indonesia and two in the United States.
Several of the cases also travelled to Europe, ASEAN nations and other parts of Asia.
Explore our interactive: All the COVID-19 cases in Singapore and the clusters and links between them
The 10 remaining infections are local cases, of which seven are linked to previous cases.
Three are currently unlinked (Cases 350, 358 and 384).
Seven more cases have been discharged from hospital. To date, 131 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged, MOH said.
Of the 254 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. Sixteen are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
To reduce the risk of further local transmission of COVID-19, MOH on Friday said that all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants must be suspended.
READ: All events, gatherings with 250 participants or more must be suspended to further reduce COVID-19 spread
READ: Activities for seniors suspended for another 14 days as part of stricter safe distancing measures
This is an expansion of the previous requirement for ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.
The requirement goes into effect immediately until Jun 30.
The stricter safe distancing measures aim to limit close contact and large gatherings of people in close proximity over a prolonged duration, said MOH.
Authorities also launched a new TraceTogether mobile app that can help with contact tracing efforts.
RETURNING TRAVELLERS TO TAKE HEED OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE, STAY-HOME NOTICES
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Friday also urged companies to impose a leave of absence for staff who had travelled during the March holidays.
Companies that do so, as well as those who are self-employed, can claim a S$100 daily support under the Leave of Absence Support Programme, the ministry said.
READ: 'One of us needs to be at home' - Parents prepared to take leave or work from home to care for children on leave of absence
READ: Singaporeans advised to defer all travel abroad amid heightened risk of imported COVID-19 cases
From Friday 11.59pm, all travellers who enter Singapore will be issued a mandatory 14-day stay-home notice.
In addition to this, all students and school staff members who travelled between Mar 14 – when the week-long school holidays began – and Mar 20 will be placed on a 14-day leave of absence from the date of their return. The measure also applies to pupils and staff of pre-schools.