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SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 17,564 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (Mar 4), comprising 17,406 local and 158 imported infections.

There were 18 fatalities, taking the death toll from coronavirus complications to 1,067.

This is the highest number of COVID-19 fatalities reported in one day since Nov 16 last year, when 18 deaths were logged. 

There are 1,678 patients in hospital, according to the latest infection statistics on the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) website. A total of 211 patients require oxygen supplementation.

Forty-five patients are in the intensive care unit, compared to 53 on Thursday.

Most of Singapore’s new COVID-19 infections are Protocol 2 cases, which are those who are well or assessed to have a mild condition.

Among the cases reported on Friday, 15,139 are classified under Protocol 2, comprising 15,037 local cases and 102 imported ones.

Another 2,425 cases were confirmed via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, with 56 of them being imported infections. 

The weekly infection growth rate is 0.97, down from 0.98 on Thursday.

The weekly infection growth rate refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before. A number above 1 indicates that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases is rising.

Singapore has recorded 803,389 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

As of Thursday, 95 per cent of Singapore’s eligible population have completed their full vaccination regimen under the national vaccination programme.

About 68 per cent of the total population have received their vaccine booster shots.

Singapore on Friday announced new vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) for Vietnam and Greece, while extending the quarantine-free arrangement to more cities in Malaysia, Indonesia and India. 

From Mar 16, the air VTL for Malaysia will extend beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, starting with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

On the same date, the VTL for Indonesia will extend beyond Jakarta to include Bali, starting with two daily flights from Bali-Denpasar to Singapore.

The VTL for India will include all cities. It currently covers Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.