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Singapore to close public libraries

5th April, 02:36

Changes to come: Customers visiting a wet market in Singapore. The country is tightening measures amid a rise in the number of daily new cases, local transmissions and clusters of Covid-19. -- AFP

ALL 25 public libraries will be closed from April 7 till May 4 owing to the coronavirus pandemic, announces the National Library Board (NLB).

The National Archives of Singapore building and the Former Ford Factory will be also be closed during the same duration.

The move by the NLB comes after the government imposed stricter measures on Friday to stem the spike in local Covid-19 cases.

"The new measures include the shutting down of all workplaces - except for those providing essential services - and schools as part of a month-long "circuit breaker".

The tightened measures come amid a rise in the number of daily new cases, local transmissions and clusters in Singapore.

Singapore reported 65 new infections on Friday, taking the total to 1,114 cases.

It also announced its sixth death from Covid-19, an 88-year-old Singapore permanent resident, yesterday.

All on-site services, including book drops and reservation lockers, will be temporarily unavailable.

Loan expiry dates will be extended until three weeks after NLB facilities reopen and no overdue fines will be imposed.

The NLB's digital services will remain available on its website and mobile application.

Singapore Pools is also suspending all lottery draws, totalisator sales and account betting services.

It will shut down its outlets from next Tuesday until further notice.

This weekend's 4D lottery draws will continue as planned, but subsequent draws will be placed on hold till further notice.

The Toto lottery draw scheduled for tomorrow will be cancelled.

Singapore Pools has urged customers who have placed bets for this draw to hold on to their tickets and said it would provide more information on the refund procedure at a later date.

Singapore Turf Club will also be suspending all Singapore race meetings from Tuesday until May 4, and Singapore Pools will not offer sports betting and wagering until further notice.

Prize payment services will remain available until tomorrow.

"In light of the suspension of retail services, the prize claim period will be extended.

"More information on the extension will be provided later," said Singapore Pool.

HSBC Singapore also announced yesterday that it would close some of its branches from next Thursday till May 4.

The affected branches are: Hillview, Alexandra, Suntec City, Holland Village, Jade Centre @ Jewel and Collyer Quay. -- The Straits Times/ANN