Singapore on Saturday reported its first two confirmed deaths related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The city-state’s health ministry said the two patients who died were a 75-year-old woman, and a 64-year-old man.
The female patient had pre-existing conditions including heart disease, while the male patient had been hospitalized in Indonesia for pneumonia, and also had a history of heart disease, according to the health ministry.
Singapore has been lauded globally for its approach in managing the outbreak, with no fatalities before Saturday even as deaths have surged elsewhere in Asia and worldwide. The tiny Southeast Asian state was one of the earliest countries to report cases of COVID-19, and was also at the frontline of the SARS epidemic in Asia 17 years ago.
In February, the World Health Organization said it was “very impressed” with the way the city-state has managed the outbreak. “We are very impressed with the efforts they are making to find every case, follow up with contacts, and stop transmission,” it said in February.