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The Straits Times
March 26, 2020
Rumours that the Government will raise the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) alert to Red, the highest level, are false.
"We are aware there has been false information purveyed on various platforms that we are going to declare Dorscon red, that the Government is going to go into a lockdown mode, that we are going to scale back the MRT and bus services," Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran told reporters at Parliament on Thursday (March 26).
"All of this is completely untrue. We have issued clarification through the Gov.sg Whatsapp service. Such false information is completely irresponsible and it just serves to raise the level of anxiety and cause fear and panic in our population."
There are 4 alert levels - Green, Yellow, Orange and Red - depending on the severity and spread of the disease. Each one contains advisories to the public and describes the impact on the community, including steps to be taken in daily life such as temperature screenings and border measures.
Singapore raised the alert level from Dorscon Yellow to Orange, the second-highest level, in February.
Mr Iswaran urged everyone to resist from sharing false information, adding that there are legitimate sources of accurate, reliable and timely information such as the Health Ministry and Gov.sg websites.
"We hope that everyone will exercise prudence in sharing information, and verify the source and the truthfulness of it before they share it with their loved ones and friends," he said.
Singapore confirmed 73 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday (March 25) - the largest increase in a day, which brought the total number of cases here to 631.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Wednesday told Parliament that the number of coronavirus cases will continue to rise in coming weeks as some of the 200,000 overseas Singaporeans return home.
Singapore announced its strictest measures to date in the fight against Covid-19 a day earlier, which included closing all entertainment outlets, limiting gatherings outside work and school to 10 people or fewer, and suspending all centre-based tuition and enrichment classes.
To deter people from travelling overseas, any Singapore resident or long-term pass holder who leaves Singapore from Friday will be charged unsubsidised rates should they be hospitalised in public hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.
They will also not be able to claim from MediShield Life or Integrated Shield Plans for these treatments at public and private hospitals.
Earlier this month (March 12), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said in a televised national address that the Covid-19 situation in Singapore remains "under control" and there are no plans to raise the disease outbreak response level alert to red.