COVID-19: Singapore confirms 548 new cases, total at 31,616

Migrant workers wearing face masks sit on socially distanced seats onboard the SuperStar Gemini cruise ship, currently used to accommodate foreign workers who have recovered from COVID-19 in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 548 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Sunday (24 May) noon, bringing the total to 31,616.

Of the cases, 544 are work permit holders living in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories. Four are cases in the community, of which three Singaporeans.

One of the Singaporeans is a 33-year-old woman who works at Iman Childcare in Tampines. The case was picked up as a result of proactive screening of preschool staff.

Details of cases on 24 May (Table: Ministry of Health)

No new cluster was announced on Sunday.

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of over 2,500 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge, Tuas View Dormitory and Jurong Penjuru Dormitory.

They are among the 25 dorms that have been gazetted as isolation areas. Some 400,000 foreign workers live in dorms here in Singapore.

Some 20,000 infected foreign workers are expected to be discharged by end-May, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong at a press conference last Tuesday.

Over 14,500 discharged in total

With 994 more cases of COVID-19 infection discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, a total of 14,876 cases here have fully recovered from the infection, said the ministry on Sunday.

There are currently 690 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Most of the hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while eight are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Over 16,027 cases with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 23 patients who have died from COVID-19 complicationsnine others who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and two 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.

It had also noted that 86 male foreign workers aged 25 to 59 died due to heart disease in Singapore in 2018.

As of 18 May, the ministry has conducted 294,414 swab tests, of which 191,260 were done on unique individuals.

This translates to around 51,600 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 33,500 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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