Singapore Ramps Up Efforts to Fight Coronavirus, Now Includes Movement Restrictions

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the city-state of Singapore this afternoon and announced a new range of measures being implemented to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Singapore has earned praise for its measured and relatively effective approach, but as confirmed cases have continued rising (though there have still only been five deaths), the Singapore government has decided to step up its fight, rather than letting their guard down, certainly a commendable approach.

At the same time, with over two solid weeks of the Movement Control Order under its belt, it’s certainly possible that Malaysia might have some valuable insight to offer its southern neighbour.

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong addresses the country Friday afternoon | Image Credit: MCI

Here is a brief round-up of some of the new initiatives being implemented in Singapore, according to PM Lee’s Friday afternoon press conference:

  • The government will distribute masks to all households.
  • The government will revisit its policy on masks and will no longer discourage people from wearing them, whether or not they are feeling sick.
  • Movement restrictions will be tightened. The government has instructed Singapore residents to only go out for essential things or if they work in essential fields or key economic sectors.
  • Additional support will be announced soon for households and businesses, beyond what has already been budgeted previously.
  • All education will shift to home-based learning models starting next Wednesday (April 8). All pre-school and student care centres will be closed.
  • Most workplaces, except for essential services, will be closed.
  • The measures are expected to be very strict for one month, after which time there will be a re-evaluation and relaxation of some measures.

At the time of the announcement, Singapore had 1,114 confirmed cases of Covid-19, and five fatalities. The city-state has an estimated population of 5.84 million.

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