Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows a view of the empty Singapore-Johor Causeway. Malaysia introduced comprehensive restrictive measures including closing shops and schools and imposing travel bans, in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures took effective from March 18 until March 31. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua
SINGAPORE, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Singapore reported 23 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the city-state's total to 266, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
It was the biggest daily increase so far and the first time the number has surpassed 20. Of the new cases, 17 are imported ones, two are linked to previous cases, and four are currently unlinked.
The MOH said in a statement that five more people have been discharged from hospital. To date, 114 patients have recovered from the disease.
Of the 152 patients still in hospital, most are in stable condition or improving. Fourteen are in critical condition in intensive care units.
The majority of Singapore's imported cases in recent days are residents of Singapore who have been overseas and infected during their time overseas, Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce on COVID-19 told a press conference Tuesday.
He called on all residents of Singapore to defer non-essential trips abroad at this particular juncture.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said earlier that Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has assured him in a phone discussion of the continued flow of goods and cargo between Singapore and Malaysia, including food supplies.
Malaysia on Monday introduced comprehensive restrictive measures including closing shops and schools and imposing travel bans, in an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. All Malaysians are prohibited from traveling overseas.
Some Singaporeans began to stockpile food and supplies, fearing that Malaysia would also stop goods and cargo to the country.