COVID-19: Singapore confirms 202 new cases, 4 of 7 community cases unlinked

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5-min read
People walk at the central business district, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
People walking in Singapore's central business district. (PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 202 more COVID-19 cases on Saturday (18 July) afternoon, bringing the total to 47,655.

Of them, seven are classified as cases in the community, while eight are imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore. The remaining are foreign workers residing in dormitories.

Among the eight imported cases, two (Cases 47649 and 47721) are residents who returned to Singapore from India on 6 July and from Pakistan on 4 July. Four cases (Cases 47697, 47698, 47699 and 47715) are work pass holders who are currently employed in Singapore. Another case (Case 47685) is a Dependant’s Pass holder. They arrived in Singapore from India between 6 July and 15 July. All seven of them had been placed on 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore, and had been tested while serving their SHN.

The remaining case (Case 47613) had arrived in Singapore from the Philippines on 16 July, and was conveyed directly to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases as he was symptomatic. The 40-year-old Filipino is a sailor currently holding a Special Pass, and he will eventually join a vessel that called at the port.

As for the community cases, the MOH said, “Of the seven cases in the community, three were picked up as a result of our proactive surveillance and screening, and one had already been placed on quarantine earlier. Four of the cases are asymptomatic, and were detected through our proactive testing.”

Three of the community cases announced on Saturday are linked to previous cases or clusters. Of these, one (Case 47686) had been identified as a contact of previously confirmed cases, and had been placed on quarantine earlier. The six-year-old boy, who is an Indian national, was tested during quarantine to determine his status, even though he is asymptomatic.

Another case (Case 47655) is also asymptomatic, and was identified from our periodic testing of individuals working in essential services. The 52-year-old permanent resident had gone to work at Excelitas Technologies Pte Ltd.

“The remaining case (Case 47632) was tested for COVID-19 under our enhanced community testing. He is a family contact of two other cases announced yesterday, and all three were confirmed to have COVID-19 on the same day,” the ministry said. He is a 64-year-old Singaporean man who had gone to work at Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub.

Currently, four of the community cases are unlinked. Of these, two cases (Cases 47541 and 47723) had been detected as a result the ministry’s screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dormitories.

The remaining two cases (Cases 47544 and 47654) were swabbed under the enhanced community testing regime to test all individuals aged 13 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at first presentation to a doctor. Case 47544 is a 55-year-old Singaporean man who had gone to work at Lee Hung Test Services Pte Ltd and Yale-NUS Research Laboratory, and Case 47654 is a 22-year-old Singaporean man who had gone to work at Adventure Plus Pte Ltd.

Overall, the MOH said, the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 18 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 decreased, from an average of nine cases per day in the week before, to an average of five per day in the past week.

Details of cases on 18 July 2020.  (Table: Ministry of Health)
Details of cases on 18 July 2020. (Table: Ministry of Health)

Two new dormitory clusters were announced: a dormitory at 72 Tagore Lane and another at 54 Tech Park Crescent.

As there have been no more cases linked to the clusters at Changi Lodge II (80 Tanah Merah Coast Road) and Sungei Tengah Lodge (500 Old Choa Chu Kang Road) for the past two incubation periods (28 days), the MOH have closed the clusters.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in a virtual press conference on Friday 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, said Wong, who is the multi-ministry COVID-19 taskforce co-chairman. This figure comprises over two-thirds of those living in dorms.

Over 43,800 cases recovered, zero in ICU

With 256 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 43,833 cases have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 169 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none are in critical condition in the intensive care unit for the first time in months.

A total of 3,626 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 6 July, the ministry has conducted 866,414 swab tests, of which 467,008 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 152,000 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 81,900 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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