Singapore on Wednesday (Mar 18) reported 47 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total in the country to 313.
This is the first time the number of infections in Singapore have passed the 300 mark, and is the highest number of confirmed daily cases reported so far.
Of the new cases, 33 are imported, and includes 30 returning Singapore residents who were infected overseas and brought the infection to Singapore, authorities said.
These imported cases comprise citizens, permanent residents and long term pass holders.
The remaining imported case had travelled to both Europe and North America.
Nine other cases are linked to previous cases while five are currently unlinked, MOH added.
As part of enhanced efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19, MOH said it is advising Singaporeans to defer all travel abroad, and that Singaporeans coming back from overseas will have to serve a 14-day self-isolation.
“Most of these cases are imported ones and the majority are Singaporeans and residents coming back from overseas … we cannot afford to take further risk if the number of these imported cases continue to rise,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said he expects the number of cases to increase but Singapore’s healthcare capacity is “designed to handle them”.
“So 47 is the highest single day so far, but we do see the number going up … many residents have returned to Singapore, even before we introduced the Stay-Home Notice and the current travel advisory,” he said.
“We do expect some of them to be infected. They are now in the incubation period and in the next two or three weeks, we will see some of these infected cases emerging.”
He also said that MOH would be announcing additional social distancing measures, particularly for the more vulnerable such as the elderly.
“This will help to further reduce the risk of transmission in our local community,” he added.