One dorm resident among 4 new COVID cases in Singapore

Singapore's Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive period.
Singapore's Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive period. (PHOTO: LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed four new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore on Tuesday (23 February), taking the country's total case count to 59,883.

There is one new case of locally-transmitted infection living in a dormitory, while the three remaining cases are imported.

"Amongst the new cases today, three are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while one was symptomatic," said the MOH.

The sole local and symptomatic infection, currently unlinked, is a 35-year-old Bangladeshi man who works as a delivery assistant at Chng Woodworking. His job entails loading and unloading goods, and he does not interact with clients.

The man, who resides in a dorm located at Kranji Way, was detected when his pooled COVID-19 test taken on 21 February as part of the rostered routine testing (RRT) regime came back positive, said the MOH.

An individual swab was done on 22 February, and he started to develop a sore throat and cough on the same day. The man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on the same day and was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 7 February – were negative for COVID- 19 infection. His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection," added the ministry.

The MOH also said that epidemiological investigations are in progress and all identified close contacts of the man – including his dorm and workplace contacts – have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period and go through serological tests to determine if the man could have been infected by them.

Amongst the three imported cases, one is a work pass holder who arrived from the United Arab Emirates and the UK.

Another case is a work permit holder – a foreign domestic worker – who arrived from the Philippines.

The remaining case is an eight-year-old short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit his family members who are permanent residents.

All three imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from five in the week before to two in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from two in the week before to one in the past week.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With seven more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 59,753 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 19 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 82 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.

Amongst the 73 confirmed cases reported from 17 to 23 February, 48 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 13 have tested negative, and 12 serology test results are pending.

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