COVID-19 cases in S'pore crosses 48,000 with 123 new infections, including 5 locals

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5-min read
A notice reminding people to wear masks hangs on a post as people walk by in Singapore on 2 June, 2020. (PHOTO: AP)
A notice reminding people to wear masks hangs on a post as people walk by in Singapore on 2 June, 2020. (PHOTO: AP)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 123 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Monday (20 July), taking the total to 48,035.

Of the new cases, 11 – including five Singaporeans – are classified as cases in the community, while two are imported cases who had been placed on stay home notice upon their arrival here.

The remaining 110 cases are foreign workers living in dormitories.

Overall, seven per cent of the new cases have no established links.

Nine of the 11 community cases are asymptomatic and were detected through proactive testing, said the ministry.

Six of them are linked to previous cases or clusters, of which two – no. 48059 and 48102 – had been identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and had been placed on quarantine earlier. Case 48059 is linked to a cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory.

“They were tested during quarantine to determine their status,” said the MOH.

The remaining four community linked cases – no. 48041, 48042, 48043, and 48044 – are all asymptomatic, and were identified during the periodic screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dorms.

All five community cases who are unlinked are asymptomatic and were detected from proactive screening, said the MOH.

Of them, two cases – no. 48046 and 48047 – were swabbed as they work in essential services.

The remaining three – no. 48056, 48057, and 48058 – were tested as part of efforts to screen individuals working in frontline COVID-19 operations.

“Epidemiological investigations of the unlinked cases are in progress. In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases,” said the ministry.

Serological tests will also be conducted for their household contacts to determine if these cases could have been infected by them, it added.

Both imported cases – work pass holders currently employed in Singapore – arrived here from the Philippines on 8 July. They had been placed on the 14- day stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore, and had been tested while serving their notice.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 14 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 10 per day in the past week.

Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of eight cases per day in the week before, to an average of five per day in the past week.

The MOH also reported a number of new public places visited by COVID-19 cases including AMK Hub, Plaza Singapura and Jollibee at Lucky Plaza in its latest list of such places covering the period from 6 July to 19 July.

As of 14 July, more than 215,000 foreign workers – or two-thirds of those living in dorms – have been tested and cleared in an ongoing effort, said the ministry. Of Singapore’s total COVID-19 tally, 44,404 – some 94 per cent – are workers living in dorms.

“We are on track to clear about 80 per cent of workers staying in the dorms by end-July, and to complete the testing of dorm residents around mid-August,” the MOH added on Tuesday.

The ministry also said to expect a higher number of confirmed cases from foreign workers living in dorms over the new few days.

“In the next few days, we have a larger population of migrant workers in various purpose-built dorms completing their isolation period and being tested for COVID-19,” it added, noting that some of them came from dorms with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 infection.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong during a press conference on 17 July noted that the government is in the “final stretch” of clearing the workers living in dorms and is set to complete the work by mid-August, or possibly earlier.

Around 230,000 workers have either recovered or have tested to be free from the virus to date, Wong, who is the multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce co-chair, had then added. This figure comprises over two-thirds of those living in dorms.

Of Singapore’s total COVID-19 tally, 45,260 – some 94 per cent – are foreign workers living in dorms.

Over 92% recovered, 0 in ICU

With 285 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Monday, 44,371 cases – 92.4 per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 183 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 3,454 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 27 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.

“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 13 July, the ministry has conducted 1,009,532 swab tests, of which 519,911 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 177,100 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 91,200 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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