Singapore's iconic Merlion statue at night. (Photo courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board)

Indonesian Man Among Singapore's First Covid-19 Deaths


MARCH 21, 2020

Jakarta. A 64-year-old man from Indonesia is one of two patients who died on Saturday from Covid-19 infections in Singapore, which until Friday reported a zero fatality from the virus.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed the fatalities on its website, saying both patients died "from complications due to Covid-19 infection" in the morning. 

The first casualty was a 75 year-old female patient, a Singapore citizen. 

"She was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 23 February for pneumonia, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on the same day," the MOH said. 

The elderly woman had a history of chronic heart disease and hypertension.

The second patient was an Indonesian national who was admitted in critical condition to the NCID on March 13 upon his arrival from Indonesia.

The MOH said he was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on March 14. 

"He developed serious complications and eventually succumbed to the infection after nine days in the ICU on 21 March at 10.15 a.m.," it said. 

The ministry added that prior to his arrival in Singapore, he had been hospitalized in Indonesia for pneumonia and had a history of heart disease.

"We are deeply saddened by their passing. Our thoughts are with their families during this difficult time. We will render all necessary assistance to their families," Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong was quoted as saying. 

"I understand that Singaporeans will be affected by this news. But we must take courage and continue to play our part to fight this virus," he said. 

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the report but said it cannot obtain the identity of the patient following Singapore's regulation.

"In accordance to the local regulation on medical privacy, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has provided its contact number through the MOH in case the family members need our help in taking care of the deceased person," Judha Nugraha, the ministry's Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Protection director, said in Jakarta.

"We respect privacy of the family in mourning," he said.