SINGAPORE: Singapore on Sunday (Mar 22) confirmed 23 new cases of COVID-19, of which 18 are imported.
The new cases take the national total to 455 cases.
The imported cases had travelled to Europe, North America, South America and ASEAN countries, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update.
All except one case were returning residents and long-term pass holders.
Nine of the imported cases had travelled to the United Kingdom, while three others had visited the United States.
Four more patients have also been discharged, MOH said.
To date, a total of 144 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital. Of the 309 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving.
Fourteen are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
READ: No entry or transit through Singapore for all short-term visitors amid heightened risk of imported COVID-19 cases: MOH
NO ENTRY OR TRANSIT THROUGH SINGAPORE FOR ALL SHORT-TERM VISITORS
Earlier on Sunday, MOH announced that Singapore will not allow short-term visitors to enter or transit through the country in view of the heightened risk of importation of COVID-19 cases.
Previously, except for a handful of countries, short-term visitors were allowed to come into Singapore, although they have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice once they entered the country.
The expanded restriction to all short-term visitors will take effect at 11.59pm on Monday.
Only work pass holders providing essential services, such as in healthcare and transport, will be allowed by the Manpower Ministry to enter or return to Singapore. This will include their dependents.
READ: COVID-19 FAQ – When will a stay-home notice be issued, and what does it mean?
Singapore on Saturday confirmed its first deaths from the disease – a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and 64-year-old Indonesian man.
The woman, known as Case 90, was linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore.
She had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension and had not travelled recently to affected countries and regions, MOH said.
The second patient, known as Case 212, was a 64-year-old Indonesian man with a history of heart disease. He reported the onset of symptoms on Mar 9 and had been hospitalised in a hospital in Indonesia for pneumonia.
He arrived in Singapore on Mar 13 and sought treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, and was admitted in a critical condition to NCID on the same day.
He was also a contact of Case 289, a 62-year-old Singapore man.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his condolences in a Facebook post and said there could be more deaths from COVID-19 in Singapore.
“As we get more COVID-19 cases, more patients will need ICU care, and we must brace ourselves for more losses,” he said.
The Government is doing all it can to slow the spread of the virus, said Mr Lee, urging Singaporeans to support and comply with the measures that have been put in place.