SINGAPORE (UPDATED) – A 9-year-old boy who recently visited the Philippines is the 15th Filipino to test positive for the novel coronavirus in Singapore, the country's Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday evening, March 24.
Singapore classified the 9-year-old boy as an imported case, which means he likely contracted the coronavirus overseas. His most recent travel history was to the Philippines.
Identified only as Case 523, the boy is a long-term pass holder in Singapore. He tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on Monday, March 23. He is now confined at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital here.
The MOH said the boy is a family member of Case 394, a 66-year-old Filipina long-term pass holder who is also classified as an imported case.
The 9-year-old Filipino is among the 49 new coronavirus cases in Singapore on Tuesday. Of this number, 32 are classified as imported while 17 are local.
Singapore has had 558 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday. Of this number, 155 patients have recovered, 17 remain in critical condition, and two have died. Most are stable or improving in the hospital.
The Philippines is one of the countries that have exported coronavirus cases to Singapore, which is now battling a surge in imported coronavirus cases.
The rise in imported cases in recent days, mostly from the United Kingdom and the United States, have prompted Singapore to tighten its border restrictions and physical distancing measures. One of these is the ban on all tourists and transit passengers starting 11:59 pm Monday.
On Tuesday, Singapore also published its strictest measures yet to ensure physical distancing to fight the pandemic. These measures will be in effect from 11:59 pm on Friday, March 26, until April 30, but Singapore said it might extend the effectivity if the coronavirus situation fails to improve.
These measures include the following:
Singapore on Tuesday also suspended all religious services in the country. The Roman Catholic Church in Singapore had earlier voluntarily suspended Masses starting February 15 due to the coronavirus.
Measures vs traveling Singaporeans