COVID-19: Singapore confirms 169 new cases, 3 imported cases

·Editorial Team
·5-min read
A notice reminding people to wear masks hangs on a post as people walk by in Singapore Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Singapore reopened 75 percent of its economy Tuesday, as part of a three-phase controlled approach to end a virus lockdown since early April. (AP Photo/YK Chan)
A notice reminding people to wear masks hangs on a post as people walk by in Singapore. (PHOTO: AP/YK Chan)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 169 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Friday (3 July) noon, bringing the total to 44,479.

There were three imported cases who returned to Singapore from India on 21 June. Two of them are Singaporeans - a 60-year-old man (case 44350) and a 56-year-old woman (case 44352) - both of whom are close contacts of each other. The other case is a 35-year-old permanent resident from India (case 44351).

They had been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore, and were conveyed in dedicated transport to SHN facilities to commence their 14-day isolation. They are asymptomatic, and had been tested while serving their SHN.

Of them, 11 are classified as community cases, while the remaining 155 are foreign workers living in dormitories.

Of the community cases, five had been picked up as a result of proactive surveillance and screening, and five had already been placed on quarantine earlier.

Nine of the community cases today are linked to previous cases or clusters. Amongst them, six (cases 44368, 44405, 44440, 44441, 44443 and 44444) had been identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and had already been quarantined earlier. They were tested during quarantine to verify their status. Of these, one is a 53-year-old Singaporean woman (case 44,440), one is a 55-year-old male permanent resident (case 44441) and the rest are foreigners.

The remaining three cases (cases 44404, 44407 and 44511) are asymptomatic, and were detected as part of proactive screening of individuals working at dormitories (case 44404) or in essential services (cases 44407 and 44511). Case 44,404 is a 20-year-old male PR while the other two are foreigners.

Two of the community cases - both foreigners - are currently unlinked. Of these, one (case 44406) was proactively swabbed as he works in essential services, even though he is asymptomatic. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining case (case 44366), who had been tested under our enhanced community testing after being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection.

Besides the polymerase chain reaction test, serological tests are conducted to determine if some of these cases are current or past infections. The serological test results for four cases (cases 44368, 44404, 44444 and 44511) have come back positive, which indicate likely past infections. The test results for the remaining cases are pending.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased, from an average of five cases per day in the week before, to an average of nine per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week.

The ministry has placed 58 households residing at Block 111 Tampines Street 11 under active phone surveillance and is facilitating COVID-19 testing for them and their visitors, after it detected nine confirmed cases from two households residing at the block.

“As these households and visitors are not close contacts of the confirmed cases, they are assessed to have a low risk of being infected,” MOH said. “Of the 85 tests that have been completed so far, all the results have come back negative for COVID-19.”

Dormitories cleared of COVID-19

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,774 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with 2,055 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with 1,809 cases, Cassia @ Penjuru with 1,474 cases and Tuas View Dormitory with 1,409 cases.

These dorms, the top five clusters with the highest number of cases here, account for over 20 per cent of the total infected workers living in dorms. Some 400,000 such workers live in such residences here.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday (30 June) that 78 more dorms have been cleared of COVID-19. These comprise 72 factory-converted dormitories and six construction temporary quarters.

In addition, three blocks for recovered workers in three purpose-built dormitories have been cleared.

This takes the total number to 241 dorms and 21 blocks for recovered workers in 14 purpose-built dorms cleared of COVID-19.

As of 28 June, 87,000 foreign workers have been cleared of COVID-19, including those residing in government-provided accommodation facilities.. A forecast of dormitories and blocks to be cleared from now till August onwards has been published on the ministry’s website.

Over 39,000 have fully recovered

With 340 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 39,769 cases have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 223 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while at least one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 4,461 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 26 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 12 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, including the 48-year-old male Indian national, 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 22 June, the ministry has conducted 684,359 swab tests, of which 376,749 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 120,100 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 66,100 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

Singapore entered Phase 2 of its reopening – with various safe distancing measures still in place – on 19 June. This phase is expected to last up to six months or longer, according to authorities.

Singapore’s General Election will take place on 10 July during this phase.

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