Covid-19: Singapore makes it mandatory to wear masks

SINGAPORE: Singapore, which today reported its Covid-19 tally surpassing the 3,000-mark, has decided to take a further step and make it mandatory for all persons in the republic to wear face masks when leaving their homes.

This was announced by co-chairman of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce COVID-19 Lawrence Wong at a virtual technical briefing and press conference here. “It takes effect immediately,” said Wong, who is also Minister of National Development.

With the new step, Wong stressed, the public is still advised to stay home and avoid going out during the one-month circuit breaker measures imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Wong said the wearing of masks is an important precaution especially since infected persons might not show any symptoms.

Singapore completed the distribution of reusable masks last Sunday, its second exercise which started on April 5 while the first exercise took place in the city-state from Feb 1 to 9.

According to the Taskforce, first-time offenders face a compound fine of S$300, repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for egregious cases.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said since April 7, when the circuit breaker kicked in, more than 6,200 warnings and over 500 fines were imposed on individuals who flouted the safe distancing measures.

“Enforcement officers have observed greater compliance with safe distancing measures over the past week. However, there is no room for complacency,” said Gan, who is also the co-chairman of the Taskforce.

“While the rise in the number of cases daily can be largely attributed to foreign workers living in dormitories, there are still cases arising from within the community, including at workplace premises,” he said. – April 14, 2020, Bernama

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