COVID-19: S'pore confirms 399 new cases, higher number due to previous day backlog

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5-min read
SINGAPORE - JULY 03:  A staff wearing protective mask cleans and disinfects high touch points at Universal Studios at Resorts World Sentosa on July 3, 2020 in Singapore. From July 1, Universal Studios Singapore reopened its door to visitors but operating capacity is limited to no more than 25 per cent as Singapore further eased the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Universal Studios is among the 13 key attractions to resume its operation in stages with safe management measures in place. As of July 3, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country stands at 44,479.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
A Universal Studios Singapore staff wearing protective mask cleans and disinfecting high touch points on 3 July, 2020. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 399 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Tuesday (21 July), taking the total to 48,434.

The higher number of cases is mainly due to a batch of test results from the previous day reported to the ministry after the 12pm cut-off for reporting the day before, said the MOH.

Of the new cases, nine – including one Singaporean – are classified as cases in the community, while three are imported cases who had been placed on stay home notice upon their arrival here.

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

Eight of the nine community cases are asymptomatic, and were detected through proactive testing, said the MOH.

Three of them are linked to previous cases or clusters – two – cases 48259 and 48513 – had been identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and had been placed on quarantine earlier.

“They are asymptomatic and were tested during quarantine to determine their status. The remaining case (case 48154) is also asymptomatic, and was swabbed as part of our efforts to screen individuals working in frontline COVID-19 operations,” added the MOH. Case 48154 has been identified to be linked to a cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory.

All of the six unlinked community cases were detected from the proactive screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dorms, even though five are asymptomatic, it added.

The MOH said epidemiological investigations of the unlinked cases are in progress, while all the identified close contacts of the cases have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that asymptomatic cases can be detected.

Serological tests will also be conducted for their household contacts to determine if these cases could have been infected by them, the ministry added.

Amongst the imported cases, two – cases 48148 and 48149 – arrived in Singapore from India on 9 July. The two work pass holders, who are currently employed here, had been placed on the 14-day stay-home notice upon their arrival here, and had been tested while serving their notices.

The remaining imported case – no. 48146 – had arrived in Singapore from the Philippines on 19 July, and was conveyed directly to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases as he was symptomatic. He is a seaman currently holding a special pass who will join a vessel that called in our port.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 13 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 10 per day in the past week.

Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of seven cases per day in the week before, to an average of six per day in the past week, it added.

The MOH also announced the closure of two clusters at Woodlands Lodge II at 190 Woodlands Industrial Park E7 and SSKBJV Dormitory at 31A Tanah Merah Coast Road. Both forms have been cleared of the virus, and now house only recovered individuals and those who have recently tested negative for the infection, it said.

Separately, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a media release on Tuesday that 69 more dorms have been cleared of COVID-19. These comprise three purpose-built and 59 factory-converted dorms as well as seven construction temporary quarters.

In addition, 41 blocks for recovered workers in 11 purpose-built dorms have been cleared.

This takes the total number to 891 dorms and 56 blocks for recovered workers in 17 purpose-built dorms cleared of COVID-19.

All workers living at Sungei Tengah Lodge – the largest purpose-built dorm with around 16,000 residents – can immediately return to work if their employers have obtained approval from their sector agencies to restart operations, the MOM added.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong had during a press conference on 17 July noted 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.

As of Monday, about 247,000 workers have either recovered, or have been tested to be free from the virus.

Of Singapore’’s total COVID-19 tally, 45,647 – or some 94 per cent – are workers living in dorms.

92% recovered, 0 in ICU

With 213 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 44,584 cases – some 92 per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 170 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 3,653 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 20 July, the ministry has conducted 1,170,049 swab tests, of which 571,496 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 205,300 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 100,300 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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