(Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)

As the world grapples with COVID-19, Singapore has been praised for its ability to keep a lid on new coronavirus infections without imposing major social and economic restrictions.

But with its government now "very concerned" by a rise in locally transmitted cases, Singapore has ratcheted up its response.

On April 3 it announced strict new measures to curb further spread. They include shutting non-essential businesses and schools.