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Singapore closes schools, most workplaces for month

Singapore closes schools, most workplaces for month

Singapore will close schools and most workplaces for a month as part of stricter measures to curb a recent jump in coronavirus infections. Friday’s announcement sent locals racing to supermarkets to stock up on staples, Reuters reports.

The city-state has won international praise for its two-month long battle against the virus, avoiding lockdown measures increasingly common around the world. However, authorities said record jumps in new infections this week, taking its total to 1,114 cases, pointed to the need for a tougher approach.

“We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to pre-empt escalating infections,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech.

The wealthy finance and shipping hub is bracing for the worst recession in its 55-year history due to the pandemic. The government has already announced virus relief measures this year equal to 11 percent of its GDP and will next week announce more support for households and businesses.