Singapore reports 544 new COVID-19 cases; phase 1 of reopening begins

Gurdip Singh

Singapore, Jun 2 (PTI) Singapore reported 544 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as low-risk businesses began operations with the end of the near two-month long 'circuit-breaker' period in the country.

Of the new cases, only one is a Singapore citizen, while the rest are foreign workers living in packed dormitories, which have emerged as major virus hot-spots, the Health Ministry said.

Three of the new cases are foreign workers living in accommodations outside the dormitories. Now the total number of COVID-19 cases stands at 35,836.

The number of deaths rose to 24 on Sunday, after a Chinese national's death was attributed to COVID-19 complications.

Tuesday was the first day after the end of the 'circuit breaker' period, Channel News Asia reported.

The 'circuit-breaker' period began on April 7 as part of which all non-essential work places were closed and residents were barred from leaving their house except to buy food and groceries or to exercise alone in the neighbourhood.

Businesses that operate in settings with low transmission risks were allowed to reopen.

Full hairdressing services, motor vehicle servicing, air conditioning servicing, printing, basic pet services and education bookshops and limited school activities have been allowed to resume as part of phase 1 of the reopening.

Pre-schools and early intervention centres reopened for children in Kindergarten 1 and 2, with children in nursery level, infant care and playgroup to follow next week.

Some places of worship were also allowed to resume services such as marriage solemnisations and funerals, subject to a cap of 10 attendees.

Households may now visit parents or grandparents, subject to a limit of two people and one visit per day.

Parents may also drop off children for childcare, subject to the same limit, said the report citing official measures.

As of Monday, Singapore had seven coronavirus patients in critical conditions of the 337 patients in hospitals. Over 12,400 patients who are showing mild symptoms are being monitored in community facilities.

So far, 22,466 patients have been discharged from hospitals since the disease outbreak here in January. PTI GS IND