Fully-vaccinated cleaner, 88, among 2 new community COVID cases in Singapore

People, wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walk in the central business district in Singapore, May 5, 2021.  REUTERS/Edgar Su
People, wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus disease, walk in the central business district in Singapore on 5 May, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (6 May) confirmed 18 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,286.

Two of them are local cases in the community, unlinked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster, and the remaining 16 are imported.

Thursday marks the 11th consecutive day with local cases reported. "Amongst the new cases today, 16 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while two were symptomatic," said the MOH.

Of the two community cases on Thursday, only one is unlinked. He is an 88-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He had not gone to work after the onset of symptoms.

The man received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on 22 January and the second dose on 15 February. He developed a runny nose and cough on 4 May and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic, where he was tested for COVID-19.

The man's test result came back positive on 5 May, and he was conveyed to Sengkang General Hospital in an ambulance. His earlier tests under the rostered routine testing regime – the last being on 16 April – were all negative for COVID-19.

His serological test result is pending, said the MOH.

The second community case is linked to the tenth and latest cluster in Singapore. He is a 22-year-old male permanent resident who is a full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Armed Forces.

He is a household contact of a 59-year-old Singaporean man who works as a trailer truck driver at Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal. The older man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 4 May and was linked to a new cluster announced on Wednesday.

With the addition of the younger man, the cluster – identified as the "Case 61822" cluster – is now linked to five cases, of whom four work at Pasir Panjang Terminal.

As the 22-year-old had been identified as a close contact of the older man, the former was placed on quarantine on 4 May, and immediately isolated while in Sembawang Camp. On 5 May, he was tested for COVID-19 even though he is asymptomatic.

The man's test result came back positive the next day, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. His serology test result is negative, said the MOH.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 28 in the week before to 48 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at seven per week in the past two weeks.

The ministry also added five more locations to the list of public places visited by infectious community cases. These places include Yummy Food Link, visited on seven occasions, and NTUC FairPrice at White Sands.

Singapore now has 10 active COVID-19 clusters, the largest being the TTSH cluster which to date has 40 infections linked to it.

16 imported cases, including 7 PRs who returned from India

Among the 16 imported cases, seven are PRs who returned from India. Another case is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from Nepal.

One case is a student’s pass holder who arrived from India and had been emplaced on his course earlier

Another is a work pass holder who arrived from Malaysia.

The remaining six are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh and Indonesia, of whom four are foreign domestic workers. A 43-year-old man who arrived from Indonesia is one of two symptomatic cases reported on Thursday.

All 16 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice.

"The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," said the MOH.

With effect from 11.59pm on 23 April, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to India are not allowed entry into or transit through Singapore, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases there.

The same border control measure has been extended to travellers with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka with effect from 11.59pm on 1 May.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 29 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 60,873 cases – or 99.3 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 120 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 262 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 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.

Among the 165 confirmed cases reported from 30 April to 6 May, 47 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 86 have tested negative, and 32 serology test results are pending.

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