Coronavirus: Singapore recovery rate outpaces infections for fourth day in a row

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Singapore reported the discharge from hospital of two recovered coronavirus patients on Monday, marking the fourth consecutive day that the total number of discharged patients has been higher than the number of infected ones.

In all, 53 of the country’s 90 cases have “fully recovered from the infection”, the Health Ministry said in a statement, with one more case linked to a pre-existing cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore also being confirmed.

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The 90th case, a 75-year-old Singaporean with no recent travel history to China, is being treated in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Disease, the statement said.

She reported the onset of symptoms on February 9 and was taken to hospital in an ambulance after her third visit to a clinic on February 23, it added.

The news came as Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday wrote separate letters to Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, praising Beijing’s efforts to help those affected by the virus, which causes a pneumonia-like disease known as Covid-19.

Halimah expressed confidence that China will overcome the epidemic, and lauded Xi’s containment measures as “swift, decisive and comprehensive”.

“During this difficult period, Singapore stands in solidarity with China, and supports China’s efforts to combat Covid-19,” she said, adding that a countrywide appeal for funds to provide humanitarian assistance “to the affected communities in China” had raised S$6 million (US$4.3 million) so far.

The city state has been working closely with the World Health Organisation and other countries, Lee said in his letter, pointing to “early indications” that the outbreak was being brought under control.

A doctor checks the condition of a coronavirus patient in central China's Hubei province earlier this month. Photo: AP
A doctor checks the condition of a coronavirus patient in central China's Hubei province earlier this month. Photo: AP

He said that Singapore’s researchers were ready to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts to share expertise and work towards a vaccine and effective treatment for the virus.

Almost 2,600 of the more than 77,000 people infected with the novel coronavirus in China have died and while the outbreak there appears to be becoming more predictable, infections are taking hold in other parts of the world, with increasing death tolls in South Korea, Italy and parts of the Middle East sparking the most alarm.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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