Covid-19 update: 120 new cases reported in S'pore, totalling 1,309

The priority is to stay at home and minimise the risk of infection.

Sulaiman Daud | April 05, 2020, 07:21 PM

The Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) announced on Apr. 5 that Singapore has recorded 120 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections, the highest single-day jump so far.

This is the first time Singapore reports a three-digit surge in new cases.

A staggering 116 cases were local transmissions, with just four imported cases.

Two hotspots identified were the foreign worker dormitories of S11 Dormitory @ Punggol ( 2 Seletar North Link) and Westlite Toh Guan dormitory (18 Toh Guan Road East).

On Apr. 4, it had 41 and 18 confirmed cases respectively.

Now, there are an additional 22 new cases at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, and 10 new cases at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory.

S11 Dormitory @ Punggol is now the largest cluster with a total of 63 cases reported.

Affected dormitories isolated

With the new updates, these two dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas.

All the workers in the dormitories have to remain inside for the next 14 days, under a Quarantine Order.

However, the government will provide three meals per day for each worker, and also distributing masks, thermometers and hand sanitisers.

Deputy Secretary (Workplaces) Jason Chen of the Ministry of Manpower said that the workers understood that these measures are being taken in the interest of their health and safety, and added that the mood on the ground was "stable".

Additional measures for other dormitories

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that the government has already implemented measures for worker health and safety.

Interactions between workers within the dormitories, and between blocks have been restricted.

Teo added that the government will also implement additional measures in other foreign worker dormitories.

Workers performing essential services will be housed in a separate location.

If workers are unwell, even if they do not test positive for the virus, they will be placed in isolated sick bays.

Take safe distancing and circuit breaker measures seriously

Aside from the cases linked to the dormitories, there are also a high number of local unlinked cases.

Co-chair of the MTF, Lawrence Wong, noted that a "common vector" of transmission is that it takes place during a social gathering or in a social setting, such as work places or meeting others.

Therefore, the circuit breaker measures announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Apr. 3 are designed to break these chains of transmissions.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said he faced a lot of questions about whether they could meet their friends or go outside.

Gan said that the priority should be to stay at home, as much as they can to minimise contact with others, unless they absolutely needed to leave the house.

Explained Gan:

"This will help us minimise the number of pending cases, even if there are clusters forming, you will be able to help to stop the transmission going forward and therefore contain the size of the cluster."

Gan urged the public to take the circuit breaker measures "very seriously."

Top image from Google Maps.