March 15, 2020 / 10:01 AM / 14 days ago

Singapore urges citizens to defer non-essential travel

SINGAPORE, March 15 (Reuters) - Singapore’s health ministry on Sunday urged its citizens to defer all non-essential travel abroad as part of its latest measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Singapore will also tell all travellers to the country with recent travel history to southeast Asian nations, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom to quarantine themselves at their place of residence for 14 days, the ministry added.

These measures come as the majority of new infections being reported in the city-state over the past few days have been people arriving from overseas rather than local transmissions.

The Asian travel hub is already set to bar from Monday entry or transit to visitors who have been in coronavirus-hit countries Italy, France, Spain or Germany in the last 14 days, as part of measures to control the spread of infection.

It has a similar ban in place for travellers from Iran, South Korea and China.

The city-state has won international praise for its painstaking onslaught on the virus since it initially emerged with one of the highest tallies of infections outside China. But other nations have since outpaced it.

Singapore has reported more than 200 infections, but no fatalities. Globally, more than 150,000 people have been infected while over 5,800 have died, a Reuters tally shows. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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