Singapore battling third wave of imported Covid-19 cases
Singapore is now seeing a third wave of imported Covid-19 cases, with more than 100 such cases confirmed in the past month.
These make up about 15.5 per cent of the total number of imported cases here since the start of the outbreak in January.
As of Tuesday, a total of 688 imported cases were confirmed in Singapore.
The number of daily imported cases had earlier dropped to zero as travel restrictions tightened here and around the world.
But on June 15, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 announced that more long-term pass holders would be able to return to Singapore during phase two of the country's reopening, which began on June 19.
On June 30, the Republic saw its first imported case in more than two weeks.
Another 106 cases followed up till July 28, and were imported from nine different countries, with more than half - 62 cases - coming from India.
India has seen a rapid rise in Covid-19 infections, with more than 1.5 million confirmed cases, and nearly 35,000 fatalities.
Another 23 cases were imported from the Philippines, which also saw a recent coronavirus surge, while the rest came from countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan and the United States.
TEST UPON ARRIVAL
Most of the imported cases - 27 - were work pass holders, while 23 of them were Singaporeans.
There were 20 Permanent Residents and 19 dependant's pass holders among the imported cases.
The increase in cases has prompted some Straits Times readers to ask why travellers entering Singapore are not tested for Covid-19 upon arrival.
Currently, travellers have to get approval before entering Singapore, remain under a 14-day Stay-Home-Notice upon arrival, and are swabbed for the coronavirus a few days before their notice ends.
Associate Professor Alex Cook, vice-dean of research at the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, suggested countries such as Singapore consider swabbing travellers on arrival instead of quarantining them.
He told The Straits Times: "This would still help filter out the majority of infected travellers, save money and inconvenience related to quarantine, and could potentially lower the risk of spread to the general population, since those testing positive could then be isolated at hospital or a facility."