COVID-19: Singapore confirms 24 new cases including Singaporean couple and dorm resident

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5-min read
People wearing protective masks cross a street in the rain in Singapore.
People wearing protective masks cross a street in the rain in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 24 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Saturday (16 January), taking the country’s total case count to 59,083.

There are five new cases of locally-transmitted infection, the most number of such new cases since 6 October, when there were seven locally-transmitted cases. Of these, four are in the community, and one resides in a dormitory.

The remaining 19 are imported cases who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Of the four community cases, two are currently unlinked and two are linked to previous cases.

One of them is a 39-year-old Singaporean man who works at Singapore Scouts Association, handling mainly administrative work in the office. He is also a part-time bus driver with Westpoint Transit who plies specific routes for Cameron (Singapore) and GlaxoSmithKline Tuas.

He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday and was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). He had not gone to work after onset of symptoms.

The man’s wife, a 39-year-old Singaporean, also tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Friday and she was conveyed to NCID. She works as an administrative officer at OCBC Tampines Centre One but does not interact with customers. Her last day at work was on 8 January, before onset of symptoms.

Another community case is a 33-year-old male Chinese national who works as a food processing worker at Golden Bridge Foods Manufacturing.

He developed a cough on 7 January and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic. He was swabbed but his test result came back negative for COVID-19 on 8 January. He stayed at home on medical leave between 7 January and 12 January, and went back to work on Wednesday.

However, he developed a fever on Thursday and sought medical treatment at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where he was again tested for COVID-19. This time, his test result came back positive on Friday and he was conveyed to NCID.

The fourth community case is a 28-year-old Singaporean woman who is the wife of a previous case, a 32-year-old Singaporean man who works as a para-veterinarian at the Singapore Police Force.

The woman had been identified as her husband’s close contact earlier and was placed on quarantine on 13 January, on the same day when the man was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday and was conveyed to NCID.

She works as a prison staff officer at Singapore Prison Service but does not interact with prison inmates. Due to workplace safe management measures, she has mainly been working from home during this period.

Three more locations were added to the list of public places visited by COVID-19 cases while infectious in the community: The Chice – The Original Chickata restaurant at Vision Exchange, the Sheng Siong outlet at 18 Teck Whye Lane and the Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlet at Canberra Plaza. They were visited on 9 January (7.50pm to 8.55pm), 11 January (8.05pm to 9pm), and 13 January (9.30am to 10.10am) respectively.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from eight cases in the week before to six cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from five cases in the week before to four cases in the past week.

Dormitory resident case and imported cases

The sole case who is residing in a dormitory is currently unlinked. He is a 37-year-old male Indian national who is a work permit holder. He resides at Tuas South Dormitory and works at Chevron Oronite as a thermal insulator installer.

He is asymptomatic, and was detected when his test taken on 14 January as part of rostered routine testing came back positive for COVID-19 infection. His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 17 December – were negative for COVID-19 infection. His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

Amongst the 19 imported cases,

• one is a Singapore permanent resident who returned from India.

• three are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from the UAE and India.

• two are student’s pass holders who arrived from India and France.

• five are work pass holders who arrived from India, Japan, Spain and the UAE.

• six are work permit holders who arrived from India and Myanmar, of whom three are foreign domestic workers.

• one is a sea crew holding a Special Pass who arrived from Brunei onboard a vessel on 5 January and had not disembarked. He was tested for COVID-19, and conveyed to the hospital when his result came back positive.

• one is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Myanmar for a job placement.

99% of total cases have recovered, none in ICU

With 13 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Saturday, 58,784 cases – or 99.5 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 54 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and none is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 216 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 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.

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