Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reportedly announced stricter social distancing measures across the country, that included shutting down all workplaces and schools, except for essential services. The situation across the country wasn’t near-end worse but the infections have seen a considerable jump by 65 tallying the total to 1,114 as of April 3, Lee said addressing a press conference. The number of those infected, however, has been fewer than what was reported earlier, he added. The death toll in Singapore stood at 5, one new fatality emerged in the past 24 hours as per reports.
Lee was quoted as saying that the rate of the transmission and the trend in other nations worries him, and therefore, all non-essential services will remain shut until further notice. He said that there was a need to impose sweeping measures for the containment of the spread of the COVID-19 among the communities. Unless the country took further steps, things were gradually going to get worse or another cluster of the infection was going to push things over the edge, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying. He also mentioned that the government was reconsidering the guidelines on wearing protective masks.
Lee declared the toughened social distancing measures for over the next few weeks and insisted that the government makes a decisive move now, to pre-empt escalating infections in the weeks ahead, as per media reports. He reportedly announced a protocol that he termed as the “circuit breaker” to stem the widescale outbreak. It imposed tightened mobility restricting the movement to a minimum, thereby prompting the closure of businesses, shops, and public facilities across the country.
Speaking about the revised policy on masks, he told the state media that he was rethinking that only those who were sick would be needing to wear the masks, as there have been asymptomatic cases. His comments come after the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention talked about reviewing their N95 masks guidelines due to shortage at the healthcare facilities. Lee insisted that regardless of the masks, people had to enact the other preventive measures that were important such as social distancing and washing hands.