SINGAPORE starting tomorrow night (3/23) will no longer allow short-term visitors to enter or transit through the country. The ban was imposed in view of the high risk of the Corona case. Singapore’s Ministry of Health today issued a statement regarding the restrictions.

Previously, short-term visitors from several countries were still excluded and allowed to come to Singapore even though they had to stay at home for 14 days upon entering the country.

The expanded restriction for all short-term visitors is the Singapore Government’s most stringent act in protecting its citizens from the import of Corona infections.

Only holders of important service work permits, such as in health care and transportation, will be permitted by the Department of Labor to enter or return to Singapore.

“Given the rapid outbreak of the virus around the world, we have decided to significantly tighten our borders,” National Development Minister Lawrence Wong told a conference as quoted by on Sunday (22/3).

“This is a very significant step, especially for small open economic regions such as Singapore which are always connected to the world,” Wong said. He acknowledged that Singapore was experiencing an unprecedented crisis so that it took action carefully.

Nearly 80% of Singapore’s new Corona infections over the past three days have been import cases with a history of traveling to 22 different countries, the Ministry of Health said in a press release.

The Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee has agreed that Malaysians with work permits will continue to be able to work in Singapore during this period. In this regard, reports that there will be suitable accommodation arrangements.

The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) also added that transportation and logistics of goods between Malaysia and Singapore will be facilitated. Committee discussions are ongoing.

The latest restrictions were announced a day after Singapore confirmed the death of Corona patients for the first time. Two patients each a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man died from complications due to Corona yesterday morning.

Singapore also confirmed 47 new cases of the Corona virus yesterday, bringing the national total to 432, including 39 cases of imports with a history of trips to Australia, Europe, North America, Asean and other parts of Asia. Of these, 33 are returning residents and long-term permit holders, while six are short-term visitors. [antaranews/photo special]