Parliament: Less than 1% of arrivals in Singapore since April 2020 tested positive for COVID-19


Dhany Osman·EditorTue, 16 February 2021, 6:14 am

Travellers wearing protective masks seen at Changi Airport on 15 December 2020. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Travellers wearing protective masks seen at Changi Airport on 15 December 2020. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Less than 1 per cent of Singapore’s visitor arrivals since 1 April last year have tested positive for COVID-19, said Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon in Parliament on Tuesday (16 February).

“Most of the arrivals during this period were from Malaysia, mainland China, Indonesia and India. The proportion of imported cases out of the arrivals from each of these countries and regions was 0.04 per cent, 0.01 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively,” he said.

Dr Koh was responding to questions from Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh, who asked about the percentage of COVID-19 cases for each country in relation to the total number of visitor arrivals from those countries.

Gan also asked if the Ministry of Health (MOH) requires foreigners visiting Singapore to have travel insurance, including hospitalisation coverage should they contract COVID-19.

Dr Koh noted that as of January, all work permit and S Pass holders are required to have medical insurance to cover their COVID-19 medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore should they develop symptoms or test positive for the coronavirus within the first 14 days of their arrival.

“As employers of Work Permit and S Pass holders are responsible for their medical treatment in Singapore, this requirement helps protect employers against medical expenses,” he added.

From the start of this month, all short-term visitors looking to enter Singapore via the Air Travel Pass or Reciprocal Green Lane schemes will also have to purchase travel insurance that can cover any COVID-19-related medical costs and hospitalisation costs in Singapore. Such insurance can be purchased from Singapore-based or overseas insurers, said 

The government is also considering whether to extend this insurance requirement to other travellers on the basis of the COVID-19 situation in their country of origin and the availability of insurance products in the market, said Dr Koh.

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