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Covid-19: MOH ‘strongly encourages’ people to stay home, go out only for essential activities

SINGAPORE — As Singapore scrambles to contain a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is strongly encouraging everyone to stay home and leave only for essential activities for the next four weeks.

Covid-19: MOH ‘strongly encourages’ people to stay home, go out only for essential activities

Pedestrians at a traffic light junction near JCube shopping mall in Jurong East on May 17, 2021.

SINGAPORE — As Singapore scrambles to contain a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is strongly encouraging everyone to stay home and leave only for essential activities for the next four weeks.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the Government’s Covid-19 task force, said that doing so would help break the chain of viral transmission.

“If you’re at home, you’re not going out, then there is no likelihood for the virus to spread. So stay home,” Mr Wong told reporters at a press conference held by the task force on Tuesday (May 18).

Should Singaporeans have to venture out of their homes, they should take more precautions, he said.

For example, those going to enclosed spaces with others nearby should wear masks with higher filtration capabilities.

In a statement on Tuesday, MOH said: “During this period, we strongly encourage everyone to remain at home and leave the house only for essential activities for the next four weeks.”

The Government on Tuesday also recommended the public to use masks with "good filtration capability", such as single-use surgical masks or reusable ones made of at least two layers of fabric and with at least 95 per cent bacterial filtration capability.

Mr Wong said: “It’s not just wearing a cloth mask but wear one with high filtration capability, a surgical mask, or one of those with the filter inserts.

“That is important because of the latest evidence about the nature of the variant strains, how transmissible they are, and the fact that spread can happen through aerosolised particles.” 

Since Singapore imposed more stringent rules from Sunday to tamp down a spike in community infections — including a ban on dining in at eateries — Mr Wong said that the streets are quieter and people are scaling back on their activities outside their homes.

The restrictions are in effect until June 13. 

“I know this has been very difficult and disruptive for all of you, and I want to thank you for doing your part to curb the spread of the virus,” he said.

“Let’s hunker down, keep our spirits up, continue to support each other, and we can get through this bump together.” 

Singapore on Tuesday recorded 27 new Covid-19 cases in the community, 11 of which have no links to previously reported infections. 

There were 11 other imported infections. 

Mr Wong said that the cases being picked up now were very likely seeded a week or two ago, and cautioned that Singapore would continue recording many infections, including those with no known links to confirmed cases.

“It doesn’t mean that our measures are not working. I have confidence that the latest measures… will have an impact in bringing numbers down.

“But we will only see this materialising one to two weeks later because of the time lag.”

The task force will continue to assess if there is a need to impose more stringent measures, he said.

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MOH Covid-19 coronavirus

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