Singapore to ban short-term visitors over COVID-19 fears hinh anh 1A view of Merlion Park in Singapore on March 6. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) - Singapore will not allow short-term visitors to enter or transit through the city-state from 23:59 on March 23, said the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Only work pass holders providing essential services, such as in healthcare and transport, will be allowed by the Manpower Ministry to enter or return to Singapore. This will include their dependents, but they must undergo 14-day quarantine at home.

Previously, except for several countries, short-term visitors were allowed to come into Singapore, although they will have to serve a 14-day stay-home notice once they entered the country.

The latest restrictions come a day after Singapore confirmed its first two deaths from the disease. Two patients, including a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man, died from complications due to COVID-19 on March 21 morning.

The MoH said in a press release that almost 80 percent of Singapore's new COVID-19 infections over the past three days were imported cases with travel history to 22 different countries.

Singapore confirmed 47 new COVID-19 infection cases on March 21, raising the total number in the country to 432.

They include 39 imported cases with travel history to Australia, Europe, North America, ASEAN and other parts of Asia. Of which, 33 are returning residents and long-term pass holders, while six are short-term visitors./.