S'pore confirms 100 new COVID-19 cases, including one community infection who works at bus depot

·Editorial Team
·4-min read
Commuters wearing protective face masks leave a train station during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore August 17, 2020.   REUTERS/Edgar Su
Commuters wearing protective face masks at a train station in Singapore on 17 August, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed another 100 COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Tuesday (18 August), taking the country’s total to 55,938.

The ministry also added several locations to the list of public venues visited by community cases while infectious, including SBCD Korean Tofu House at Guoco Tower, 888 Plaza in Woodlands, and Seoul Garden at Bugis Junction.

Of the new cases, the lone community case is a 39-year-old Singaporean man who works at a bus depot in a non-public facing role that does not involve interactions with commuters and bus captains.

Two others, including a permanent resident, are imported cases while the remaining 97 cases are work permit holders living in dormitories currently under quarantine.

Overall, five per cent of the new cases have no established links, including Tuesday’s single community case.

The asymptomatic community case, no. 56022, was detected as part of the screening of staff in the public bus industry who work at depots and interchanges, said the MOH.

The screening was conducted as a precautionary measure after the ministry detected some cases at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub.

“In all, more than 14,800 staff and close contacts of the cases had been tested between 23 July and 15 August. Of these, 10 had tested positive using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test so far,” the ministry added.

“This is one (case 56022) more than the nine cases previously announced by MOH and the Land Transport Authority on 8 August. Testing has since completed, and five results are pending.

To determine if these cases are current or past infections, they underwent serological test of which seven results have come back positive – including case 56022 – which indicates likely past infections, the MOH said.

Among the two imported cases, case 55977, a PR, returned to Singapore from India on 6 August, while case 56005, a dependant’s pass holder, arrived from India on 10 August.

Both of them had been placed on a 14-day stay-home notice upon arrival here and were tested while serving their notice at dedicated facilities, said the ministry.

It added that the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two cases per day in the past two weeks. Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also remained stable at an average of one case per day in the past two weeks.

Authorities here have completed the testing of all workers in the dorms, with around 17,900 of them currently serving out their quarantine period.

About 100 COVID-19 cases have been detected in foreign worker dorms that were given the all-clear, resulting in some 7,000 workers being quarantined, said the authorities on Tuesday.

Of Singapore’s COVID-19 cases, 52,911 – or some 95 per cent – are foreign workers living in dorms.

Over 52,500 discharged; none in ICU

A total of 183 more patients were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday. In all, 52,533 – some 94 per cent of the tally – have fully recovered from the infection and been discharged.

Most of the 88 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and none are in the intensive care unit.

A total of 3,290 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These patients have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

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.

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