SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 60 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Wednesday (26 August), taking its total to 56,495.
The ministry also added Block 4A Jalan Batu Market and Food Centre, which was visited on 10 separate occasions, to a list of venues visited by community cases while they were infectious.
Of the new cases, three – including one Singaporean – are community cases, while 10 – including two Singaporeans and three permanent residents – are imported ones.
The remaining 47 cases are foreign workers residing in dormitories, of which 29 had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases, and had already been quarantined. Overall, three per cent of the new cases have no established links.
Of the three community cases, two are asymptomatic and were detected through proactive testing, said the MOH. Both – cases 56540 and 56542 – were also identified as contacts of a previously confirmed case, and had been placed on quarantine earlier. They were tested during quarantine to determine their status.
The remaining community case – no. 56522 – was detected under the enhanced community testing to test all individuals aged 13 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at first presentation to a doctor, said the MOH.
The case has no established link and epidemiological investigations into it are in progress, the ministry added.
“In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the case have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases,” said the MOH.
Serological tests will also be conducted for the case’s household contacts to determine if he could have been infected by them, it added.
Among the 10 imported cases, half – cases 56554, 56555, 56569, 56570 and 56571 – are Singapore residents who returned to Singapore from India on 14 August.
Another two – cases 56558 and 56559 – are work pass holders currently employed in Singapore who arrived from India and the Philippines on 14 August.
The remaining three – cases 56523, 56524 and 56560 – are dependant’s pass and long-term pass holders who arrived from India and the US on 12 and 14 August.
All of them had been placed on the 14-day stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice at dedicated facilities, said the MOH.
The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two cases per day in the past two weeks.
Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also remained stable at an average of one case per day in the past two weeks.
18 cases in dorms detected via surveillance testing
Among the 47 foreign workers residing in dorms, 29 had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases and tested during their quarantine to determine their status, said the MOH.
The remaining 18 cases were detected through surveillance testing, such as the bi-weekly rostered routine testing of workers living in dorms and testing of those with acute respiratory infection symptoms.
Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or swabbing, the MOH also conducted serological tests to determine if some of these cases are current or past infections.
The serological test results for seven cases have come back positive so far, which indicate likely past infections, it added.
Overall, foreign workers residing at dorms make up 94.5 per cent – or 53,396 cases – of Singapore’s total COVID-19 tally.
Close to 55,000 cases discharged; no patient in ICU
With 155 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 54,971 cases – some 97 per cent of the tally – have fully recovered from the infection.
Most of the 65 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 1,432 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.
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