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94% of 49 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore asymptomatic; 3 more dorms clusters

Food delivery cyclists wearing protective face masks move along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore, Friday, April 10, 2020. The Singapore government put in place "circuit breaker" measures in the light of a sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in recent days. Under the measures which will last through May 4, people have to stay home and step out only for essential tasks, such as going to work if they are in essential services, buying food and groceries, or for a short bout of exercise. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Food delivery cyclists wearing protective face masks move along the Orchard Road shopping belt in Singapore on 10 April, 2020. (AP file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 49 new COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday (2 September), bringing the country’s total to 56,860, and three more clusters linked to foreign worker dormitories.

Six cases are now linked to the Changi Lodge 2 dorm at 80 Tanah Merah Coast Road, while seven are linked to North Coast Lodge at 51 North Coast Avenue and Toh Guan Dormitory at 19A Toh Guan Road East each.

The MOH also revised the city-state’s tally down from 56,901 to 56,860, with 41 cases being removed after being “verified to be negative for COVID-19 following further investigations”.

Of the 49 new cases, 46 – some 94 per cent – are asymptomatic and were proactively detected via screening and surveillance, said the ministry.

Three – including one Singaporean – are classified as cases in the community. Three others are imported cases and have been placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore.

The remaining 43 cases are foreign workers residing in dorms, of which 14 had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases, and had already been quarantined.

Overall, 18 per cent of the new cases have no established links.

All three community cases have no established links. Two of them were detected via the rostered routine testing of workers in the construction, marine, and process sectors who are living outside dorms, said the MOH.

The remaining community case, a 29-year-old Singaporean woman was detected via enhanced community testing to test all individuals aged 13 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at first presentation to a doctor.

Epidemiological investigations of the cases are in progress while all the identified close contacts of the cases have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period, said the MOH.

“We will also conduct serological tests for their household contacts to determine if they could have been infected by them,” it added.

The ministry also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of three per day in the past week.

Separately, the number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of one case per day in the past two weeks.

Indonesian seaman among imported cases

Two of the three imported cases are work pass or work permit holders currently employed in Singapore who arrived from India and the Philippines on 21 August.

Both of them had been placed on the 14-day stay-home notice upon their arrival here, and had been tested while serving their the notice at dedicated facilities, said the MOH.

The third imported case, a 41-year-old Indonesian man, is a seaman who had been tested upon his arrival from his home country on 26 August.

“He had been isolated while awaiting his test result, and was subsequently conveyed in an ambulance to a hospital when it came back positive,” added the ministry.

29 cases in dorms detected via surveillance testing

Amongst the 43 cases residing in dorms, 14 had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases and were tested during quarantine to determine their status, said the MOH.

The remaining 29 cases were detected through surveillance testing.

Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or swabbing, serological tests were also conducted to determine if some of these cases are current or past infections.

“The serological test results for 23 cases have come back positive so far, which indicate likely past infections,” said the MOH.

Overall, such workers make up 94.4 per cent – or 53,721 cases – of Singapore’s total COVID-19 tally.

Over 55,800 cases discharged; no patient in ICU

With 142 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 55,891 cases – or 98.2 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 75 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 867 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 27 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.

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