In late 2019, Singapore’s medical practitioners took notice when reports of severe pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China emerged. Soon after, temperature screening at Changi Airport was implemented.1 In addition, a multi-ministry taskforce co-chaired by Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong and Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong was formed on 23 January 2020 to “deal with the eventuality” of the virus spreading to Singapore.2
That same day, Singapore reported its first imported case of COVID-19.3 The first cases of local transmission were reported on 4 February 2020.4 By 4 April 2020, there were 1,189 confirmed cases and six deaths.5
Measures to minimise the risk of transmission such as contact tracing were put in place when confirmed cases were reported.6 The Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON), which reflects the current disease situation, was raised from Yellow to Orange on 7 February 2020 indicating that the virus, while severe and spreading easily, was being contained. Additional precautionary measures were then introduced such as the suspension of inter-school and external activities such as the national school games, learning journeys and camps, daily workplace health checks and stepping up of business continuity plans.7
Over the weeks, other measures were introduced including Leave of Absence (LOA) or Stay-Home notices (SHN); safe distancing; closure of public entertainment venues and advisories to cancel or defer non-essential events and mass gatherings.8 When rates of infection, particularly unlinked cases continued on an upward trend, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 3 April 2020, announced a slew of additional measures to contain the outbreak. These include closing most workplaces, moving to full home-based learning for schools and institutes of higher learning; and restrictions on movement and gatherings of people. These measures would take effect from 7 April to 4 May 2020.9
Find out more about Singapore’s COVID-19 situation and its containment measures through the following resources. Our next guide will look at R&D and medical research work that is taking place worldwide to combat COVID-19.
#NoTapis: Koronavirus: Perlukah Singapura dikenakan ‘lockdown’? (2020, March 25). Berita harian. Retrieved 2020, March 30.
This podcast explores the control measures Singapore has undertaken to break the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and features guest speaker, Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Health.
联合早报。（2020年3月29日）。动态追踪：冠状病毒19新加坡疫情。 Retrieved 2020, March 30.
This microsite maintained by Lianhe Zaobao (联合早报) provides the latest statistics on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore as well as information on the development of the disease and clusters formed in Singapore.
Pung, R., Chiew, M.P.H., Young, B.E., Chin, S., & Chen, M.I-C., et al. (2020, March 28 – 3 April). Investigation of three clusters of COVID-19 in Singapore: Implications for surveillance and response measures. The Lancet. 395 (10229): 1039–1046. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
Ng, Y., Li, Z., Chua, Y.X., Chaw, W.L., & Zhao, Z., et al. (2020, March 20). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 69 (11): 307–311. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
Disclaimer/ Rights statement
The information in this resource guide is valid as of April 2020 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history on the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
All Rights Reserved. National Library Board Singapore 2020.