Singapore records 570 new coronavirus cases; total rises to 29,364

By Gurdip Singh

Singapore, May 20 () Singapore on Wednesday reported 570 new coronavirus cases, mostly foreign workers living in dormitories, taking the total number of infections in the country to 29,364.

Out of the 570 new cases, only two are Singaporean citizens or permanent residents (foreigners).

The rest are all foreign workers residing in dormitories, the health ministry said. Advertisement

As many as 10,365 patients have recovered from the disease since the first case was reported here on January 23. The deadly virus has claimed 22 lives so far.

Singapore on Tuesday announced that it will lift the "circuit breaker" imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus from June 1 gradually in three phases.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the decision to exit the circuit breaker has been taken because of the low number of cases in the community, and the stabilised situation at the dormitories.

The "circuit breaker" measures were first announced on April 7 and were further tightened after three weeks, with more workplaces closed and social gatherings banned.

As the risk of a resurgence in community transmission remains high, the government in the first phase will resume economic activities. Besides the essential businesses that are already operational, those that operate in settings with lower transmission risks will be allowed to open. Advertisement

These include manufacturing firms, subject to the issued guidelines set for the manufacturing sectors and most offices. The authorities, however, said that telecommuting must be used to the "maximum extent".

Most retail outlets and dining-in at food and beverage outlets will remain closed in Phase 1. Sports and recreation facilities will also remain closed.

About 85,000 foreign construction workers living in public housing and private residences are being allowed to leave their homes on Tuesday, with their stay-home notice ending on Monday at 11.59 pm. Advertisement

They must, however, continue to abide by circuit breaker measures and head out only for necessities, like buying food.

The move does not apply to construction workers living in dormitories such as purpose-built dormitories, factory-converted dormitories and temporary quarters on construction sites. They have to wait until after June 1. GS SCY SCY