Singapore seeks to stop virus spread without full lockdown


Singapore’s government is “doing its utmost” to prevent the spread of coronavirus without having a complete lockdown as is the case with some countries, President Halimah Yacob said in a Facebook post.

Her comments come as Singapore works to limit disruptions to companies and workers after Malaysia imposed rules on Monday to prevent its citizens from traveling overseas. The ban has raised concerns of labor and food shortages for the city-state, which heavily relies on its Malaysian neighbor.

Halimah said the social and economic disruptions are “enormous” if such a lockdown was to take place. Singapore’s economy is already facing a recession due to virus-linked disruptions to trade and tourism.

Singapore has yet to reach the peak in terms of coronavirus transmission, with imported cases continuing to be a concern, Halimah said. On Thursday, Singapore reported 32 new cases with 24 imported, which were all returning residents and long-term visa holders with travel history to Europe, other Asean countries and North America.