WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

AFTER 2.4 million infections and more than 170,000 deaths reported worldwide, governments and their citizens are warned to brace for a health calamity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The worst is yet ahead of us… from the novel coronavirus outbreak.” World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a video conference.

“The world must act together on a national and global scale to overcome the pandemic. If this does not happen, more people will die.

“Without these, believe us — the worst is waiting for us. This is such a virus that many people haven’t understood it yet,” he said.

“This virus has new types of contagion habits. It is very contagious just like the flu. It’s a serious killer like SARS and MERS. It has dangerous combinations.”

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a national address announced the island republic’s circuit breaker to nip the spread of the coronavirus will be extended by another month.

He added in his national address measures already in place would be tightened until May 4.

“More workplaces will be closed to further reduce the number of workers keeping essential services going. Some hot spots, such as popular wet markets, remain a problem, as large groups of people continue to congregate there,” the Prime Minister said.

He reminded Singaporeans to remain alert and non-complacent although circuit breaker measures proved effective. The number of unlinked cases has not come down, indicating there remains uncovered cases amongst the community.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed an additional 1,111 cases of Covid-19 infections, bringing the tally to 9,152. The ministry said the majority of the new cases were work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories while 20 cases were Singaporeans/Permanent Residents.

With the latest tally, Singapore which reported its first cases of Covid-19 on Jan 23 has recorded the highest number of cases among ASEAN member countries.

Meanwhile, 801 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, while 23 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit and 11 have died.

In Thailand, the government reported 19 new cases increasing to 2,811 total number of cases to 2,811, and one more death.

The Tuesday figures are significantly lower than those recorded on Monday, and is the lowest since March 14. However, due to limited testing, it cannot be ruled out, the actual number of infections may be higher.

The 19 cases over the past 24 hours included 10 people in close contact with previous patients, two visitors to crowded places, one person who worked closely with others, one attendee to religious ceremonies, and one returnee from the United States who was quarantined in Bangkok.

Over the past 24 hours 109 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals. The total of recovery cases rose to 2,108 and only 655 patients remained at hospitals. Forty-eight patients have died.

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