COVID-19: Singapore confirms 262 new cases; 10 community cases

People wearing protective masks prepare their mobile phone for Safe Entry check-in as they queue to enter a shopping mall at Orchard Road in Singapore. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 262 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Sunday (21 June) noon, bringing the total to 42,095.

There are 10 community cases, with two Singaporeans and one permanent resident among them. The remaining seven cases are holders of work passes or work permits.

Among the Singaporean cases is a 22-year-old male student (Case 41884) who was tested as part of the ministry’s proactive screening of students at Institutes of Higher Learning who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection (ARI) at first presentation to a doctor. “He is a student at Nanyang Technological University, but has not gone to the university since early April 2020,” the MOH said.

The remaining Singaporean case (Case 42115), a 58-year-old man, and the permanent resident one (Case 41956), a 33-year-old man, were detected due to the MOH’s proactive surveillance of persons working or living at dormitories. They were asymptomatic.

All seven work pass or work permit holders were tested even though they are asymptomatic, the ministry said. “Among them, two (Cases 42003 and 42100) had been identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and had already been quarantined at government quarantine facilities. They were swabbed during quarantine to verify their status,” the MOH said. “Another three cases (Cases 42098, 42112 and 42116) were tested as part of our efforts to screen workers in essential services. The remaining two cases (Cases 42113 and 42114) were detected through our proactive screening of persons working at dormitories.”

One new cluster was announced – a dormitory at 242 Woodlands Industrial Park E5.

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,766 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with 2,044 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with 1,771 cases, Cassia @ Penjuru with 1,464 cases, and Tuas View Dormitory with 1,407 cases.

These dorms, the top five clusters with the highest number of cases here, account for some 24 per cent of the total 39,439 infected workers living in dorms. Some 400,000 such workers live in dorms here.

Cases on 21 June (Table: Ministry of Health)

Over 34,900 patients have recovered

With 718 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Sunday, 34,942 cases have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 179 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 6,948 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, 10 others who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another three, including the 44-year-old male Indian national who died on 8 June, 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 15 June, the ministry has conducted 576,189 swab tests, of which 340,894 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 101,100 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 59,800 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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

With more returning to workplaces, the MOH said on Thursday that it will extend testing to all individuals aged 45 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection from later next week. It will be progressively be extended to more groups, it added.

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