COVID-19: S'pore confirms 246 new cases, including 1 imported and 5 community

Shoppers at Marina Bay Sands shopping mall in Singapore on 19 June, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Tuesday (30 June) reported 246 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, bringing the total to 43,907, as well as 515 more recoveries.

The ministry also announced one additional cluster linked to a dormitory at 20 Senoko Crescent, as well as added four more public venues to a list of places visited by community cases.

Of the new cases, one is an imported case while five are classified as community cases – two are Singaporeans while three are work permit holders. The remaining 240 are foreign workers living in dormitories.

The imported case is a female permanent resident who had returned to Singapore from India on 24 June.

She was placed on stay-home notice upon arriving in Singapore and had been conveyed in a dedicated transport to a stay-home facility to commence her 14-day isolation, said the MOH. She had developed symptoms during isolation.

Amongst the two Singaporean cases, case 43712 was detected due to surveillance of persons deployed to frontline COVID-19 operations, even though he is asymptomatic.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining Singaporean identified as case 43703.

Amongst the three work permit holders, two – cases 43890 and 43891 – had been swabbed as part of the screening of workers in essential services.

The remaining case – no. 43711 – is asymptomatic, and had been tested as he works in frontline COVID-19 operations, said the MOH.

“Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, we also conducted serological tests to determine if some of these cases are current or past infections. The serological test results for Cases 43711 and 43712 have come back positive, which indicate likely past infections,” it added. “The test results for the remaining cases are pending.”

Overall, two per cent of the new cases have no established links.

The ministry said the number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of four cases per day in the week before, to an average of seven per day in the past week.

Similarly, 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 MOH added four places to the list of venues visited by community cases. They are Marsiling Lane Market & Cooked Food Centre at 20 Marsiling Lane, Sheng Siong Supermarket at 506 Tampines Central 1, One Supermarket at 201B Tampines Street 21, and Chang Cheng Mee Wah Coffeeshop at Northlink Building at 10 Admiralty Street.

McDonald's outlet at Tampines Mart was listed as visited on 28 June – the first time was on 26 June.

Dormitories cleared of COVID-19

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,790 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with over 2,000 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with over 1,800 cases, Cassia @ Penjuru and Tuas View Dormitory with over 1,400 cases each.

These dorms, the top five clusters with the highest number of cases here, account for over 20 per cent of the total 41,446 infected workers living in dorms. Some 400,000 such workers live in such residences here.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said on Tuesday 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 Monday, about 79,000 foreign workers have been cleared of COVID-19, including those residing in government-provided accommodation facilities, said the MOM. Last week, a forecast of dormitories and blocks to be cleared from now till August onwards was published on the ministry’s website.

Over 87% have fully recovered

With 515 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 38,500 cases – 87.6 per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 215 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while at least one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 5,166 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 whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Two deaths were attributed to multiple injuries consistent with those resulting from a fall from height.

“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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