Two patients with COVID-19 died due to complications, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Saturday (21 March). These are the first deaths from COVID-19 that the Republic has seen since confirming its first case of the virus infection in January.
The patients are a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man.
The Singaporean woman, identified as Case 90, was linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore. She was said to have a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension. She had been admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 23 February for pneumonia and was confirmed to have Covid-19 the same day. She died after 26 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at 7.52am on Saturday.
Both deaths from COVID-19 are due to complications and underlying health issues. | Image source: iStock
The second patient, identified as Case 212, was a 64-year-old Indonesian man with a history of heart disease.
He was admitted in critical condition to NCID on Mar 13, after arriving in Singapore from Indonesia on the same day, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 the following day.
According to MOH, the patient developed serious complications and died after nine days in the ICU, on Saturday at 10.15am.
The health agency also said that the patient had been hospitalised in Indonesia for pneumonia. prior to his arrival in Singapore.
Patients’ families have been informed
The MOH and NCID have reached out to their families and are extending assistance to them.
Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong said, “We are deeply saddened by their passing. Our thoughts are with their families during this difficult time. We will render all necessary assistance to their families. I understand that Singaporeans will be affected by this news. But we must take courage and continue to play our part to fight this virus.”
PM Lee expressed condolences to the families
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong expressed his condolences over the deaths from COVID-19 and said Singapore has to prepare itself for more deaths from the virus.
“As we get more COVID-19 cases, more patients will need ICU care, and we must brace ourselves for more losses,” he said.
“Our healthcare workers are doing their best to care for their patients. So far 131 of 385 cases have been discharged. Most are gradually improving.”
Mr Lee assured the public that the government is “doing all we can to slow the spread of the virus.”
PM Lee expresses condolences over the deaths from COVID-19 in Singapore. | Image source: Screenshot/Lee Hsien Loong
Mr Lee also called on Singaporeans to support and comply with the measures that have been put in place.
Public urged to follow stricter safe distancing measures
To reduce the risk of further local transmissions, authorities urged the public to observe stricter safe distancing measures.
New safe distancing measures were introduced for events, public venues, and workplaces.
Under the new measures, gatherings with 250 or more participants in attendance at any one time must be suspended until 30 June 2020. This is an expansion of the previous requirement for ticketed cultural, sports and entertainment events to be limited to fewer than 250 participants.
Public venues such as shops and restaurants to ensure separation of at least 1m between customers. Meanwhile, workplaces are strongly advised to put in place measures to reduce close physical interactions amongst employees, such as telecommuting, and staggered working hours.
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