S'pore has 1st local case of prelim-positive Omicron; 682 new infections and 5 deaths

People sit on socially distanced bench on December 7, 2021 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People sit on socially distanced benches on 7 December, 2021 in Singapore. (PHOTO: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NOTE: The MOH has stopped issuing daily media releases on infection statistics. In line with the MOH's announcement, Gov.sg will also stop its daily WhatsApp updates on such statistics from 10 December.

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (9 December) confirmed 682 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 271,979 – as well as five deaths due to the disease.

It also confirmed that two more cases have tested preliminarily positive for the new Omicron variant, one of whom is local. The National Public Health Laboratory is conducting whole-genome sequencing to confirm the variant.

Both cases are fully vaccinated and have received their booster shots. The local case is asymptomatic while the imported case has mild symptoms, said the MOH.

The local case is a 24-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a passenger service staff at Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and had also worked at the transit holding area, where she may have interacted with transit passengers from Omicron-affected countries.

She did not work at Terminal 4, where the three earlier cases of Omicron infections had been to, said the MOH.

The imported case is a 46-year-old female Singapore permanent resident who returned here via a vaccinated travel lane from Germany on board SQ325 on 6 December.

Her pre-departure test in France on 4 December was negative for COVID-19. Upon her arrival in Singapore, her PCR test on 6 December came back negative.

Both cases are recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

The MOH said it is conducting aggressive contact tracing to ringfence the cases. All close contacts of the cases will be placed on 10-day quarantine at designated facilities and undergo PCR tests at the start and end of their quarantine.

This comes as two previously-announced cases were on Monday confirmed to have the Omicron variant. In total, three others, including the two on Thursday, tested preliminarily positive for the variant here.

7th straight day with less than 1,000 cases, 51 in ICU

Thursday marks the seventh day in a row with less than 1,000 cases reported in the city-state.

It is also the 81st day in a row with fatalities from COVID-19 reported in Singapore, with 56 people having succumbed to it this month. The MOH did not provide details on the five fatalities reported on Thursday.

Of the new cases, 665 are local – 649 are in the community, and 16 are residents of migrant worker dormitories. The remaining 17 are imported.

The ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before – or the weekly infection growth rate – is 0.58, down from Wednesday's 0.61. This is the 27th day in a row where the figure is lower than 1.

Apart from the 779 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.

A total of 1,474 cases were discharged on Thursday, while 666 remain warded. Over the last 28 days, of the 41,632 infected individuals, 98.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms.

There are currently 111 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation.

A total of 51 cases are in the intensive care unit (ICU) – 11 are unstable and under close monitoring to prevent further deterioration, while 40 are critically ill and intubated.

The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 50 per cent, up from Wednesday's 49.8 per cent.

As of Wednesday, the total number of individuals who have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines is 96 per cent of the eligible population.

Among the total population, 87 per cent have done so, while 87 per cent has received at least one dose, and 29 per cent has received their booster shots.

Authorities had said that the number of unvaccinated people aged 60 years and above has dropped from 57,769 to 43,611 with the adjustment of Singapore's population base.

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