COVID-19 tally in S'pore above 39,000 mark; S'porean man, 78, among 422 new cases

Essential workers have their noses swabbed before returning to the workforce at a regional screening centre, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 10 June, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)
Essential workers have their noses swabbed before returning to the workforce at a regional screening centre, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 10 June, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (11 June) confirmed 422 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, bringing the total to 39,387, as well as 754 more recoveries.

The MOH also confirmed six clusters linked to dormitories at 15 Kaki Bukit Crescent, 9 Kian Teck Drive, 1A Pioneer Sector Walk, Potong Pasir Avenue 1, 214 Tagore Lane and 200A Tuas South Boulevard.

Of the 422 new cases, 416 are foreign workers living in dormitories, while the remaining five – one Singaporean, two work pass, and two work permit holders – are classified as community cases. Another community case, a 44-year-old male Indian national identified as case 39327, died on Monday and was confirmed to have COVID-19 two days later.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the 78-year-old Singaporean man, identified as case 39004, said the MOH. He is among the one per cent of new cases with no established links.

All four foreign workers among the community cases were asymptomatic but had been detected due to proactive screening, it added.

A 29-year-old Malaysian national, identified as case 39071, was tested as he works as a security guard at a dorm at Tampines Street 62.

A 37-year-old male Myanmar national, identified as case 39321, was swabbed as part of efforts to screen workers in essential services. He is classified as a local unlinked case.

A 25-year-old Malaysian woman, case 39013, and a 31-year-old Indian national, case 39039, are housemates of previously confirmed cases, and had already been quarantined earlier.

They were swabbed during quarantine to verify their status, said the MOH. Besides swab tests, serological tests were also conducted on the community cases to determine if they were current or past infections.

“The serological test results of three cases (cases 39039, 39071, and 39321) have come back positive, which indicate likely past infections. Results are pending for the rest,” said the ministry.

It added that the number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of six cases per day in the week before, to an average of eight per day in the past week.

Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from an average of one case per day in the week before to an average of four per day in the past week.

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,722 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with 2,035 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with 1,523 cases, Tuas View Dormitory with 1,400 cases and Cassia @ Penjuru with 1,388 cases.

The five are among the 25 dorms that had been gazetted as isolation areas and account for some 25 per cent of the total 37,043 infected foreign workers living in dorms here.

About 10 per cent of some 400,000 such workers who live in dorms have been cleared of the infection, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on 1 June during a press conference.

Over 20,000 infected foreign workers have recovered, she added.

(For more details on clusters in Singapore, read here.)

JEM FairPrice Xtra outlet, Pioneer Mall added to public places list

On Thursday, the ministry added two more public places to a list of locations – first published on 25 May – visited by infectious cases in the community for over 30 minutes. A FairPrice Xtra outlet at JEM was visited on 6 June from 3pm to 4pm, while Pioneer Mall was visited on Monday from 9am to 10.15am.

Those who had been identified as close contacts of confirmed cases would already have been notified, said the MOH.

“There is no need to avoid places where confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been. The National Environment Agency will engage the management of affected premises to provide guidance on cleaning and disinfection,” it added.

As a precautionary measure, the ministry has advised those who had been at these locations during the specified timings to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit.

They have also been urged by the ministry to visit the doctor if they develop symptoms such as cough, sore throat, as well as fever and loss of taste or smell, and inform the doctor of their exposure history.

The list – which excludes residences, workplaces, healthcare facilities, and public transport – will be updated on a rolling 14-day basis or one incubation period.

Some 70% recovered; 10th case to die of unrelated cause

With 754 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 27,286 cases – 69.3 per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 227 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, down from three on Wednesday.

A total of 11,849 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 25 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 10 others who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another three, including the 44-year-old male Indian national who died on Monday, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

“Only cases where the attending doctor or pathologist attributes the primary or underlying cause of death as due to COVID-19 infection will be added to the COVID-19 death count,” said the MOH in previous press releases, adding that the method of assessment is consistent with international practices for classifying deaths.

As of 8 June, the ministry has conducted 488,695 swab tests, of which 284,963 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 85,700 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 50,000 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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