Singapore reports its first coronavirus-related deaths as Malaysia deploys military to stop the spread

Singapore reports its first coronavirus-related deaths as Malaysia deploys military to stop the spread
Singapore has experienced its first set of coronavirus-related deaths as two older adults with pre-existing conditions died.
2 min read
22 March, 2020
People wearing masks [Getty]
Singapore has reported two coronavirus-related deaths over the weekend, making in the first fatalities in the city-state’s battle against the virus.

The two older adults who had died had underlying health conditions.

The health ministry said a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man died on Saturday morning.

Singapore has confirmed 385 cases of the infection and had so far managed to avoid any fatalities since the outbreak began in the city-state in late January.

“I know Singaporeans will be worried and anxious. But we must take courage and not give into our fears,” Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s health minister, told reporters.

As of Friday, 131 cases of Singapore’s total had fully recovered from the infection.

The 75-year-old woman who died suffered from a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension, and she had been in intensive care for 26 days.

The Indonesian man had been hospitalised in Indonesia for pneumonia before he arrived in Singapore on 13 March.

He had a history of heart disease and died after nine days in intensive care.

Singapore joined in global efforts to keep coronavirus from spreading by pushing forward with social distancing measures, including suspending all gatherings of 250 people or more and advising companies to ask staff to work from home.

All, including citizens and residents, entering the country are required to self - quarantine for 14 days. It has also advised its citizens against any travel outside the city-state.

Malaysia will deploy the army to support police in enforcing tough restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus because many people are flouting isolation rules, a minister said.

People have been told to stay at home and all schools and most businesses have closed, while Malaysians are barred from travelling overseas and foreigners from entering the country.

But some are ignoring the measures introduced this week, with people still going for walks in parks and eating out.

Police had originally been tasked with enforcing the restrictions, but Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the army would be brought in from Sunday.

"We are confident that with the army's help, stricter enforcement can be carried out," he told a press conference.

"There are still many who don't care about the orders from the government."

Malaysia has so far reported 900 virus cases, the highest figure of any Southeast Asian country.

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