SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (25 February) confirmed one new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Singapore, bringing the total to 91.
Five more patients have been discharged from the hospital, including the newest case. This brings the total of those who have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged to 58, more than half of the total confirmed cases.
Case 91: Contact of Case 66, already discharged
Case 91 is a 58-year-old female Singapore citizen who has no recent travel history to China. She is linked to Case 66, a 28-year-old male Singapore citizen linked with Grace Assembly of God who was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 14 February.
She reported onset of symptoms on 23 January and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 1 February, 6 February and 10 February. As she had been identified as a contact of Case 66, she was referred by MOH to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 18 February.
Subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on Saturday afternoon, but she has since recovered and was discharged on Tuesday. Prior to hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Rivervale Drive.
7 in ICU; most remaining cases stable
On Friday, MOH said that most of the 33 remaining patients in the hospital are stable or improving. Seven patients remain in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
As of Tuesday non, the ministry has also identified 2,846 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 371 are currently quarantined, and 2,475 have completed their quarantine.
It also reiterated its advice for Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province, home to Wuhan where the virus originated, and all non-essential travel to mainland China.
COVID-19’s death toll surpasses SARS epidemic
The novel strain belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also started in China.
It likely originated from Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market, where live animals or products – such as foxes, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines, and camel meat – are sold.
Declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 38 territories beyond mainland China. The WHO also said that cases being transmitted by people who have never travelled to China could be the "tip of the iceberg".
To date, the virus has killed more than 2,600 people in China and sickened over 80,000 globally. Over 40 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China.
At 977 confirmed infections including 11 deaths, South Korea is the territory with the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after mainland China. Italy has the third-highest number with 288 cases, including seven deaths. Iran has the most deaths outside of China at 16.
The global tally also includes cruise ship Diamond Princess, moored off Japan, which accounted for 691 cases, including four related deaths so far. Five Singaporeans who were on board the quarantined cruise ship have been allowed to disembark it last week.
Patients suffering from the new strain may exhibit fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness – such as coughing or difficulty in breathing – as well as pneumonia-like symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.
However, some who have died from it have not displayed symptoms of fever, according to details released by China’s National Health Commission, potentially complicating global efforts to check for infected travellers as they arrive at airports and other travel hubs.
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