COVID-19: 1 community case among 20 new cases in Singapore

People in face masks seen along Orchard Road on 19 June 2020. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)
People in face masks seen along Orchard Road on 19 June 2020. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 20 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Monday (19 April), taking the country's total case count to 60,851.

There is one new case of local transmission within the community, while the remaining 19 cases are imported. Monday marks the fourth day in a row where local infections were reported in Singapore.

"Amongst the new cases today, 15 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while five were symptomatic," said the MOH.

Monday's sole community case is a 44-year-old permanent resident who is the husband of a previous infection. His wife, a 41-year-old PR, works as an accountant at OM Universal and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 16 April.

The linked case works as a manager at Spice Grill Restaurant at 12 Gopeng Street and Rangoon Bar & Bistro at 94 Rangoon Road and was last at work on 15 April.

As the man had been identified as a close contact of his wife, he was placed on home quarantine on 16 April, the MOH said.

"He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he was tested for COVID-19 on 17 April during quarantine. His result came back positive the next day, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases," the ministry noted.

It added that his serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing and all identified close contacts of the man, including his co-workers, have been isolated as well as placed on quarantine and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period, the MOH said. Serological tests for the close contacts will also be conducted to determine if the couple could have been infected by them.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from two in the week before to nine in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two in the week before to five in the past week.

Separately, it added four places to a list of COVID-19 public venues visited by community cases while they were infectious. Among them are Spice Grill Restaurant, visited nine times between 5 to 15 April, and Rangoon Bar & Bistro, visited eight times between 6 and 15 April. Both places were listed down as the workplaces of Monday's sole community case.

The other two places visited are The Square @ Furama at Furama Riverfront on 7 April from 6.20pm to 6.50pm and Adam’s Corner Seafood Restaurant at 324 Lavender Street on 17 April from 10am to 10.30am.

On Sunday, a sole community case detected earlier that day was identified as a 39-year-old Indonesian man who is a sea crew member on board a bunker tanker. He is the latest to date, according to the authorities, to have tested preliminarily positive for the B.1.1.7 strain – or the UK variant – of the coronavirus.

19 imported cases, 13 from India

Among the 19 imported cases, two are Singaporeans while six are PRs who returned from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Nepal. Two PRs who returned from India – a 48-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman – are among Monday's five symptomatic cases.

Three others are dependant’s pass holders – including a four-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy – who arrived from the Maldives and Philippines.

Three cases are a long-term visit pass holder and two student's pass holders who arrived from India. The long-term visit pass holder, a 53-year-old man, is Monday's third symptomatic case.

Three others are work pass holders who arrived from India, while another is a work permit holder who also arrived from the same country. One work pass holder, a 31-year-old man, is Monday's fourth symptomatic case.

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder, a 26-year-old woman, who too arrived from India to visit her Singaporean family member. She is Monday's fifth symptomatic case.

All 19 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested for COVID-19.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 18 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Monday, 60,503 cases – or 99.4 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 79 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while one of them is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 239 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 30 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 173 confirmed cases reported from 13 to 19 April, 63 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 81 have tested negative, and 29 serology test results are pending.

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