Singapore to close schools, markets for a month to fight coronavirus, says PM Lee Hsien Loong as country sees rise in recent cases

To control the spread of the novel coronavirus, Singapore will close all schools, student care centres and market places for a month, the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday

FP Trending April 03, 2020 20:33:35 IST
Singapore to close schools, markets for a month to fight coronavirus, says PM Lee Hsien Loong as country sees rise in recent cases

To control the spread of the novel coronavirus, Singapore will close all schools, student care centres and market places for a month, the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday.

Singapore has registered over 1,000 cases and five deaths due to coronavirus, which has affected over 10 lakh people globally.

Singapore to close schools markets for a month to fight coronavirus says PM Lee Hsien Loong as country sees rise in recent cases

File image of Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong. PTI

“We will close most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors. Food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open,” Lee said.

He assured that Singapore has enough food supplies to last the country through the period and beyond. “You can still shop at supermarkets and wet market and you need not stock up for weeks at a time,” he urged.

The closure will take effect from next Tuesday. The country will move to full home-based learning in schools and institutes of higher learning in the country.

Singapore has tightened restrictions on movement and gatherings of people too. Lee has asked people to stay at home as much as possible, avoid socialising with others beyond their own household and go out only to for essential purposes.

The number of cases of COVID-19 has seen a rise over the recent past in the country. In the last two weeks alone, Singapore has reported 50 new cases daily.

“We have kept the outbreak under control but looking at the trend, I am worried that unless we take further steps things will gradually worsen or another big cluster may push the thing over the edge,” the prime minister said during his address to the nation.

Lee added that they have decided to make a decisive move to preempt escalating infections and will, therefore, impose significantly stricter measures.

“This is like a circuit breaker. It will help to reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring and it should also help to bring our numbers down,” he said.

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