3 more prelim-positive cases of Omicron; 3-month low of 454 new cases in S'pore

A man dines alone in a food centre, amidst dining regulations imposed by the government which only allow up to two people to dine together, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Singapore November 3, 2021. REUTERS/Caroline Chia
A man dines at a food centre amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in Singapore on 3 November, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

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 Friday (10 December) confirmed 454 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 272,433 – as well as four deaths due to the disease.

It also confirmed that three 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.

All three cases are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, and recovering in isolation wards at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), said the MOH.

Friday's sole local case for the new variant is a 38-year-old man who works as a passenger service staff at the departure gates at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He did not interact with the three earlier imported Omicron cases and there are no known linkages with the other local case who also works at Changi Airport, said the MOH.

Upon being notified of his positive result following his PCR test on 9 December, he had self-isolated at home, added the ministry.

Among the two imported cases is a 30-year-old woman who returned to Singapore via a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) from the UK on 8 December. Her pre-departure test in the UK on 7 December was negative for COVID-19, while her on-arrival PCR test on 9 December was positive.

The second imported case is a 26-year-old man who travelled to Singapore via VTL from the UK on 8 December. He had not interacted with the woman during the flight.

His pre-departure test in the UK on 6 December was negative for COVID-19, while his on-arrival PCR test on 9 December was positive.

Both cases had self-isolated at their accommodations, prior to their conveyance to the NCID said the MOH.

This comes as Singapore on Monday confirmed that two previously-announced cases were infected by the Omicron variant. In total, six, including Friday's three cases, have tested preliminarily positive for the variant here. Two of the six are locally transmitted cases and airport workers.

8th straight day with less than 1,000 cases

Friday marks the eighth day in a row with less than 1,000 cases reported in the city-state and the lowest daily case count since 8 September's 349 infections.

It is also the 82nd day in a row with fatalities from COVID-19 reported in Singapore, with 60 people having succumbed to it this month. The MOH did not provide details on the four fatalities reported on Friday.

Of the new cases, 440 are local – 436 are in the community, and four are residents of migrant worker dormitories. The remaining 14 are imported.

The ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before – or the weekly infection growth rate – is 0.56, down from Thursday's 0.58. This is the 28th day in a row where the figure is lower than 1.

Apart from the 783 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 1,017 cases were discharged on Friday, while 637 remain warded. Over the last 28 days, of the 38,979 infected individuals, 98.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms.

There are currently 120 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation.

A total of 44 cases are in the intensive care unit (ICU) – four are unstable and under close monitoring to prevent further deterioration, while 40 are critically ill and intubated.

The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 50.7 per cent, up from Thursday's 50 per cent.

As of Thursday, 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 30 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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