Singapore—The Ministry of Health (MOH ) announced on Tuesday (Apr 20) a longer quarantine for travellers from India following a worsening pandemic situation there.
All travellers from India will be required to serve an additional seven-day stay-home notice (SHN) at their place of residence in addition to the 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities imposed immediately upon arrival.
Entry approvals for non-Singapore citizens or permanent residents arriving from India will also be reduced.
These measures will take effect on Friday (Apr 22) at 11.59 pm. All travellers from India subsequently will be tested at the end of their initial 14-day SHN (as per the current requirement), and again after they have completed their additional seven-day SHN period, said MOH.
“Travellers who have yet to complete their 14-day SHN by 22 April 2021, 2359 hours, will also be subjected to the additional 7-day SHN period,” the statement added.
“Migrant workers arriving from India in the Construction, Marine and Process sectors will continue to be subjected to a 21-day SHN. These measures will minimise importation risks and protect public health.”
India has experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases along with the emergence of new virus variants. On Tuesday, the country recorded over 259,000 new cases, the sixth day when cases exceeded 200,000.
It also saw its highest death toll on Monday, with 1,761 succumbing to the disease. India’s total recorded number of Covid deaths is now 180,530.
Its total number of Covid cases has reached 15.3 million, second only to the United States.
Epidemiologists have said the new variants are responsible for much of the spread of infections in this current surge.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the increase in Covid-19 infections as a “storm”. In a televised message, he told the people to stay at home and not to panic.
“The situation was manageable until a few weeks ago. The second wave of infections has come like a storm. The central and state governments, as well as the private sector, are together trying to ensure oxygen supplies to those in need. We are trying to increase oxygen production and supply across the country,” Mr Modi said.
Large parts of India are under lockdown in a bid to control the spread of infections. But Mr Modi has asked states to use lockdown only as a last resort.
“We have to save the country from a lockdown. I appeal to the states, they should use lockdown as the last option, and pay more attention to micro-containment zones.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled a trip to India because of the Covid surge.
On Tuesday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Even fully vaccinated travelers… should avoid all travel to India.”