SINGAPORE – The circuit breaker to choke off the spread of the coronavirus will be extended by another month and existing measures will be tightened until May 4, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his fourth national address on the situation.
This means that more workplaces will be closed to further reduce the number of workers keeping essential services going. Some hotspots, such as popular wet markets, remain a problem as large groups of people continue to congregate there, Mr Lee said.
While he noted that the circuit breaker measures have been working, he stressed that Singapore cannot be complacent. He said the number of unlinked cases has not come down, which suggests a “hidden reservoir” of cases in the community.
He last addressed the nation on April 3 to announce the circuit breaker measures that kicked in four days later, forcing people to keep their distance from one another in an effort to limit the virus’ spread.
Since then, the number of new cases reported in the wider community has inched downwards. But in foreign worker dormitories, cases have shot up over the past week as a result of crowded living conditions and active testing for the virus.
PM Lee said the government will take more measures to care for workers that are being affected by the outbreak.
“To our migrant workers, let me emphasise again, we will care for you like we care for Singaporeans,” he said.
He thanked them for their cooperation and assured them that their health, welfare and livelihood will be taken care of, including making sure they get paid, can send money home, and helping them stay in touch with friends and family.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Health Ministry announced that 1,111 new cases were confirmed today, with only 20 Singaporeans and permanent residents among them. This brings the national total to 9,125. More details will be made available on Tuesday night.
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