Singapore once heralded for early success in battling the coronavirus pandemic, is now facing a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Singapore reported a new daily high of 447 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, April 15, the Ministry of Health announced, as reported by The Straits Times. This takes the country's total number of infections to 3,699. Out of the total tally, 41 cases had recovered from the deadly virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 652.
In Singapore, 10 people have died so far due to the deadly outbreak, with the latest victim being a 70-year-old Singaporean man succumbing to the infection on Tuesday.
Majority linked to dormitories
A large majority of the new cases reported on Wednesday were traced back to being tied to facilities that house migrant workers in close quarters. 404 of the 447 people who were infected were work permit holders living in dormitories. Workers in as many as 20 dormitories have been affected by the virus outbreak in Singapore, according to Bloomberg.
Including Wednesday's cases, as many as 1,800 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been linked to dormitories, which makes up nearly half of Singapore's total coronavirus cases. The country is struggling to deal with this new pace of infections that is picking up pace among workers living in dormitories, at a time when it appears to be stabilizing elsewhere across the city-state.
'Circuit breaker' measures
Singapore has put in place strict measures during what it calls a circuit breaker period to contain the spread of COVID-19. These include tightening of entry restrictions and imposing a nationwide lockdown until May 4, which has forced non-essential workplaces and schools to shut down.
The government has also made it mandatory for everyone to wear masks when they step out. Those caught without a mask in public can be fined 300 SGD for their first offence, and a second violation of the rule will lead to a 1,000 SGD penalty.