910 new COVID cases in Singapore, 59th fatality confirmed

A Covid-19 coronavirus contact tracing sign is pictured as people walk out during lunch break at the Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on September 14, 2021. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A coronavirus contact tracing sign is pictured as people walk out during lunch break in Raffles Place in Singapore on 14 September, 2021. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (16 September) confirmed 910 new coronavirus cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 74,848.

Thursday marks the highest daily recorded COVID-19 cases since 1 May last year, when 932 infections were reported.

The ministry also confirmed the death of a 72-year-old Singaporean woman from complications due to COVID-19, the city-state's 59th such fatality.

Before her death on Thursday, the woman had developed symptoms on 4 September, and tested positive for COVID-19 two days after. "She had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, and had a history of atypical chest pain, Graves’ disease, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia," said the MOH.

Of Thursday's cases, 906 are local infections: 803 are in the community, while 103 are dormitory residents. Among the local cases are 244 people above the age of 60, said the MOH.

The remaining four cases are imported, of whom three were detected upon their arrival in Singapore, while one developed the illness during their stay-home notice or isolation period.

Thirteen active COVID-19 clusters in Singapore are being closely monitored, said the MOH. Three of them are linked to staff members at bus interchanges in Toa Payoh, Tampines, and Punggol.

Of the list of monitored clusters, the highest number of 46 new cases was added to a new cluster at Blue Stars dorm. The cluster now has 53 cases infected by an "intra-dormitory transmission" among residents, said the MOH, adding that all residents are being tested.

Seventeen new cases were added to the Chinatown Complex cluster, now totalling 242 infections, the majority of whom are stallholders and assistants.

Eleven new cases were also added to the cluster at the DHL Supply Chain Advanced Regional Centre, which is now linked to 83 infections. It has been classified by the MOH as "workplace transmission with further spread to household contacts of cases".

Daily new cases in Singapore are expected to rise to 1,000 over the upcoming weeks, and 2,000 by early October, if the current rate of infection persists, said authorities here.

In a separate statement by the expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination on Thursday afternoon, it recommended that vaccinated individuals, particularly adolescents and those of younger age, avoid strenuous physical activity for two weeks – up from a week previously – after any dose of the mRNA vaccines.

In the latest COVID-19 vaccine safety update released on Thursday by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the overall local incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis after the second vaccine dose was 1.06 per 100,000 doses administered, and the incidence rate in males below 30 years old after the second vaccine dose was 4.84 per 100,000 doses administered.

"While most of the cases reported previously had occurred within one week of vaccination, the HSA had also started to receive reports of some cases that occurred within the second week of vaccination," said the expert committee.

It also recommended that those who developed delayed mild or non-specific skin reactions after receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be suitable to receive subsequent doses of the same vaccine. Previously, they were deemed ineligible to do so.

77 require oxygen supplementation; 12 in ICU

Over 66,600 cases in Singapore, or some 99 per cent of the overall total, have fully recovered from their infection and have been discharged from the hospital.

As of Thursday, 837 cases are currently warded, most of whom are well and under observation.

There are currently 77 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation and 12 in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Of those who have fallen very ill, 69 are patients above the age of 60, said the MOH.

Apart from the 59 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.

Over the last 28 days, the percentage of local cases who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms is 98.2 per cent. Over the same period, 135 cases required oxygen supplementation, 12 had been in the ICU, and four died, of whom none was fully vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, about 8.89 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.56 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with some 4.43 million having completed the full vaccination regimen.

Separately, 180,118 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) have been administered as of Wednesday, covering 86,813 individuals.

This means that 82 per cent of the population have completed their full regimen, or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 84 per cent have received at least one dose.

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