COVID-19: Singapore confirms 642 new cases, total at 31,068

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
People wearing face masks amid concern over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus crosses a road with building displays of festive decorations ahead of Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the Geylang Serai market in Singapore on May 21, 2020. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing face masks crossing a road with building displays of festive decorations ahead of Eid al-Fitri which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 642 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Saturday (23 May) noon, bringing the total to 31,068.

The vast majority of the new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories, said the ministry.

While there are no imported cases, there are 11 cases in the community: six Singaporeans and/or permanent residents, three work pass holders and two work permit holders.

Of the new cases, 99 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing. Two more infection clusters have also been confirmed.

Meanwhile, 927 more have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 13,882 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged.

There are currently 711 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and eight are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 23 individuals have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

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.

Almost 13,000 discharged in total

With 838 more cases of COVID-19 infection discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, a total of 12,955 cases here have fully recovered from the infection, said the ministry on Friday.

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

Over 16,000 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 complications, nine 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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