COVID-19: Singapore confirms 334 more cases, 10th death and new foreign worker dorm cluster

·Senior News & Video Producer
·6-min read
People wearing face masks while travelling aboard an East-West Line train on 7 April 2020, the first day of Singapore's month-long circuit breaker period. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
People wearing face masks while travelling aboard an East-West Line train on 7 April 2020, the first day of Singapore's month-long circuit breaker period. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (14 April) reported 334 new COVID-19 cases and the 10th coronavirus-related death in Singapore, taking its total cases to 3,252.

The 70-year-old Singaporean man who died on Tuesday was among the 47 cases linked to the cluster involving a private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong held on 15 February.

The MOH also confirmed a new cluster linked to PPT Lodge 1A dormitory at 8 Seletar North Link.

The announcement also marks the fifth consecutive day with no imported cases and comes a day after Singapore reported a record high of 386 new cases.

Of the 334 new cases, 198 of 220 linked cases have been traced back to clusters – the vast majority work permit holders living in foreign worker dorms. A total of 114 cases have no established links.

(SOURCE: MOH)
(SOURCE: MOH)

The 70-year-old man who died was identified as case 128 and tested positive for the virus on 6 March. “The NCID (National Centre for Infectious Diseases) has reached out to his family and is extending assistance to them,” said the MOH.

TTSH doctor among 334 new cases, previous case identified as SGH nurse

Case 3014: TTSH doctor

The 41-year-old Singaporean man, who has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, reported developing symptoms on 9 April. He is not linked to any case or cluster at the moment.

The Tan Tock Seng Hospital doctor tested positive for the virus on Monday and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID. He had not gone to work since developing symptoms.

Case 2738: SGH nurse (announced on Monday)

The 22-year-old Singaporean woman, who has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, reported developing symptoms on 12 April. She is a family member of two previous cases.

The Singapore General Hospital nurse subsequently tested positive for the virus on Monday and is currently warded at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH). She had not gone to work since developing symptoms.

(For more details on the breakdown of the clusters, read here.)

(For more on the 334 cases, read here.)

25 more patients discharged; 28 in ICU

The MOH on Tuesday confirmed that 25 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total of recovered cases to 611.

Most of the 1,315 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while 28 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, down from 29 on Monday.

Some 1,316 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Tuesday’s addition of a new cluster means at least 20 of them linked to foreign worker dormitories have been identified thus far, including the largest cluster of 718 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol.

As of Tuesday noon, the MOH said it has identified 30,646 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 12,797 are currently quarantined, and 17,849 have completed their quarantine.

A total of 72,680 swab tests have also been carried out here, of which 47,486 of them involved unique individuals as of 7 April noon.

Measures to combat spread of coronavirus

The COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act, passed in Parliament last Tuesday, gives authorities the power to ban events and gatherings, or impose conditions on how they are conducted, during the “circuit breaker” period lasting till 4 May.

Those caught flouting the enhanced safe distancing measures for the first time will be given a composition fine of $300, and a $1,000 fine for the second time.

Egregious cases will be prosecuted in court. A first-time offender who is prosecuted under the Act can face a maximum fine of $10,000, or a jail term of up to six months, or both. A second-time or subsequent offender can face a maximum fine of $20,000, or a jail term of up to a year or both.

On Tuesday, authorities said that mask-wearing while going out would be mandatory and offenders will face similar penalties. Exceptions to the rule include children under the age of 2 and those doing strenuous exercise.

People who flout their five-day medical leave or stay-home notices are also subjected to similar penalties.

Part of the “circuit breaker” measures – announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 3 April – include the closure of schools and most workplaces. Only essential services like food establishments, markets and supermarkets, transport, and key banking services will remain open during the month-long closure.

In a Good Friday address last week, Lee reiterated his call for Singaporeans to stay home, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in foreign worker dormitories as well as in the general population.

Over the weekend, the authorities issued a slew of measures, including the closure of beaches, facilities in parks and gardens and playfields.

Stadiums have also been closed, while parents are not allowed to drop off their children with grandparents on a daily basis.

Separately, all Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from overseas apart from Hubei province must serve the 14-day stay-home notice, while those returning from Hubei must serve a 14-day quarantine.

All short-term visitors are barred from entering or transiting via Singapore.

Last Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an additional $5.1 billion Solidarity Budget to help businesses, workers and households.

The government’s response to COVID-19 will total $59.9 billion, or about 12 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.

Over 1.9m cases globally

To date, there are over 1.9 million COVID-19 cases globally. More than 121,000 have died from the virus, with the US holding the record for the highest global death toll at over 23,000.

At over half a million cases, the country also holds the record of having the largest number of patients globally, followed by Spain at over 172,000 cases, Italy at over 159,000, and France at over 136,000.

China, where the virus originated, has reported over 82,000 cases and more than 3,300 deaths.

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