15 new COVID cases in S'pore, including 1 linked to 'case 59429' cluster

·Editorial team
·5-min read
SINGAPORE - DECEMBER 25: People wearing protective mask form a queue to rent bicycles at East Coast Park on December 25, 2020 in Singapore. As Singapore prepares to further ease COVID-19 restrictions from December 28, the government reported its first COVID-19 case carrying the potentially more contagious strain of the virus circulating in the United Kingdom last Wednesday. As of 25 December, the Ministry of Health confirmed 14 new imported COVID-19 cases and zero cases in the wider community bringing the country's total to 58,509. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
People wearing protective masks form a queue to rent bicycles at East Coast Park on 25 December, 2020 in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 15 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (22 January), taking the country’s total case count to 59,250.

There is one case in the community, while the remaining 14 are imported. This marks the ninth day in a row where new community infections are reported.

“Amongst the new cases today, 12 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while three were symptomatic,” said the MOH.

The lone community case is linked to the “case 59429” cluster, the latest and sixth live cluster of COVID-19 cases in Singapore.

The cluster – now linked to eight cases – is named after the case number of a previously reported infection, a 39-year-old male permanent resident, who works as a sales personnel at BS Industrial & Construction Supply at 34 Kallang Place. The man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 18 January.

The eighth case is a 26-year-old Malaysian woman who is a fellow sales personnel at the same company.

She was placed on quarantine on 18 January when the man was confirmed to have COVID-19. She was tested for COVID-19 two days later even though she is asymptomatic.

Her test came back positive the next day, and she was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Her serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing. In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the case, including her family members, as well as co-workers, have been isolated and quarantined and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period.

Serological tests will also be conducted for the close contacts to determine if the case could have been infected by them.

The MOH said the number of new cases in the community has increased from two in the week before to 21 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two in the week before to five in the past week.

One of 14 imported cases did not serve SHN, was not isolated

All but one of the 14 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here. The remaining case is a work pass holder who works as a cabin crew at Singapore Airlines.

She had travelled to the UK for work between 12 and 13 January, and returned to Singapore on 14 January. She was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and her test came back negative on the same day.

She subsequently developed a fever on 17 January and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic.

On 20 January, she developed a loss of smell and was tested for COVID-19 the next day. Her result came back positive for COVID-19 on 22 January. She had mostly stayed at home from 14 January until she was conveyed to the hospital on 22 January.

The remaining imported cases include two Singaporeans and one permanent resident who returned from Malaysia, Mauritius, and Myanmar.

Another is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from France. Three others are work pass holders who arrived from France and India.

An additional three cases are work permit holders who arrived from India and Indonesia, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker.

Another case is a one-year-old girl, a short-term visit pass holder who came from India to visit her family member who is a PR.

The remaining two cases are special pass holders who are sea crew. One of them arrived onboard a vessel from China, and was swabbed upon arrival. He was isolated until his result came back positive for COVID-19, and subsequently conveyed to the hospital.

The other special pass holder arrived onboard a vessel from Timor Leste, and did not disembark. He was swabbed onboard, and conveyed to the hospital when his test came back positive for COVID-19.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 24 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 58,983 cases – or 99.5 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 41 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 197 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Amongst the 191 confirmed cases reported from 16 to 22 January, 106 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 35 have tested negative, and 50 serology test results are pending.

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