By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Singapore health officials (MOH) confirmed and verified nine additional cases of COVID-19 infection. Of these, six are linked to the cluster at Grace Assembly of God and one is linked to a previous case. Contact tracing of the other two cases is underway to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to China.
As of 14 February 2020, 764 of the suspect cases have tested negative for COVID-19, and 67 have tested positive. Test results for the remaining 91 cases are pending.
Today, Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong and Minister for Culture, Community & Youth Ms Grace Fu met with church leaders to update them on the COVID-19 situation, and to provide guidance on precautionary measures that churches can take to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises that worship services may continue, but with appropriate precautionary measures. As churches are places where large numbers of congregants come together to worship, it is important to put in place precautionary measures and emphasize personal hygiene practices to reduce the risk of transmission.
The Ministers thanked the church leaders for their understanding and support. They noted that many churches have already instituted measures to protect their congregations. These include advisories to members, temperature screening, reducing mingling, as well as suspending or deferring non-essential program.
Other measures that can be adopted include increasing the frequency of cleaning of commonly used areas, minimizing sharing of common items where possible, and maintaining good ventilation of event venues.
MOH also advises that those who are unwell, including congregants and church workers, should consult a doctor immediately and not go to church. The most effective method to prevent transmission remains through good personal hygiene of regular hand washing with soap and water, and to avoid touching our face unnecessarily.