COVID-19: S'pore confirms new single-day high of 17 cases including 11 imported; total at 243

People wearing masks walk on the street in Chinatown on 15 March, 2020, in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (16 March) confirmed 17 new cases of the coronavirus in Singapore – a new single-day high here – bringing the total to 243.

The previous single-day high of 14 cases was reported on Sunday.

Of the new 17 cases, 11 are imported while four are linked to previous patients. Two currently do not have any identified links, including an 86-year-old Singaporean man who is the oldest COVID-19 patient here to date.

The ministry also identified a new cluster of four cases – no. 144, 208, 214 and 235 – linked to the Church of Singapore’s Bukit Timah branch at 2B Hindhede Road. One of them, no. 144, is also linked to the 15 February private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong – the largest cluster here with 47 cases to date.

Separately, four more cases have been discharged from hospital. They are:

  1. Case 99: 27-year-old Singaporean man linked to Wizlearn Technologies cluster

  2. Case 100: 20-year-old Malaysian man linked to Wizlearn Technologies cluster

  3. Case 149: 62-year-old Singaporean man linked to SAFRA Jurong cluster

  4. Case 189: 36-year-old male Indian national who had been in India from 21 February to 1 March

In all, 109 have fully recovered from and have been discharged from hospital, while 13 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Contact tracing is underway for 12 locally transmitted cases – out of more than 150 – to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to affected countries or regions, said the ministry. Over 80 cases are imported.

11 IMPORTED CASES

Case 227: Singaporean man who was in France

The 53-year-old Singaporean man had been in France from 7 to 12 March.

He reported developing symptoms on 11 March while in France, and had presented at the emergency department of the National University Hospital (NUH) on Saturday.

He tested positive for the virus the next afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NUH.

The Pasir Panjang Road resident is a staff of Lighthouse Evangelism Church at Tampines Street 82 but had not gone to work since he developed symptoms.

Cases 229 & 240: Singapore PRs who were in Spain

The 26-year-old woman and 27-year-old man had been in Spain – the former from 14 February to 14 March and the latter from 7 to 14 March. They are family members.

The woman reported developing symptoms on Sunday, and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on the same day.

She visited the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Sunday and tested positive on the same afternoon. The Kim Keat Road resident is currently warded in an isolation room at the NUH.

The man tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NUH.

Case 230: Singaporean woman who was in Eastern Europe

The 38-year-old Singaporean woman had been in Eastern Europe from 3 to 14 March. She reported developing symptoms on 14 March and visited at the NCID on Sunday. She tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

The Ewe Boon Road resident is employed as an adjunct teaching staff at Republic Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic, but had not gone to work since she developed symptoms.

Cases 231 & 232: Australian family members who were in US

The 78-year-old man and 65-year-old woman, who are family members, had been in the United States from 23 February to 14 March.

The duo both hold Singapore work passes. The man had reported developing symptoms on 4 March while in the US and visited the Singapore General Hospital (SGH)’s emergency department 10 days later.

The woman had reported developing symptoms on 2 March while in the US and similarly, visited the SGH’s emergency department 10 days later.

The Robertson Quay residents tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon and are currently warded in isolation rooms at the SGH.

Case 233: British man who was in UK

The 61-year-old man, who holds a Singapore long-term pass, had been in the United Kingdom from 6 to 14 March. He tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 238: Female Belgium national who came to S’pore

The 83-year-old woman, who arrived in Singapore on 6 March, tested positive for the virus on Monday morning. She is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 239: British man who was in France

The 28-year-old man, who holds a Singapore work pass, had been in France from 7 to 14 March. He tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 241: British man who was in France

The 28-year-old man, who holds a Singapore work pass, had been in France from 7 to 14 March. He tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

Case 243: Singaporean man who was in Germany, Italy, Switzerland

The 36-year-old man had been in Germany from 26 to 29 February, Italy from 29 February to 7 March and Switzerland from 7 to 14 March. He tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

FOUR LINKED TO PREVIOUS CASES

Case 235: Singaporean woman linked to 208

The 31-year-old woman – with no recent travel history to affected countries and regions – tested positive for the virus on Monday morning.

She is currently warded in an isolation room at the SGH, where she is employed as a medical social worker. She is linked to case 208, a 26-year-old Singaporean woman who tested positive for the virus on Saturday morning and had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions.

Both are part of four cases linked to a newly-announced cluster at Church of Singapore (Bukit Timah).

Case 236: Singaporean woman linked to 142

The 30-year-old Singaporean woman – with no recent travel history to affected countries and regions – tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID. She is a family member of Case 219, a 30-year-old Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer, and is linked to case 142.

Case 142 is a 26-year-old Singaporean man who tested positive for the virus on 7 March, and is linked to two clusters: SAFRA Jurong and Boulder+.

Case 237: Indonesian woman linked to 225

The 36-year-old Indonesian woman, who holds a Singapore work pass, had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. She tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

She is linked to patient 225, a 63-year-old Singaporean man who is an imported case who had been in Indonesia from 3 to 7 March. He tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Case 242: Singaporean woman, contact of 166

The 64-year-old female Singaporean woman had been in Malaysia on 7 and 8 March. She tested positive for the virus on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

She is a contact of case 166, a 55-year-old Singaporean woman linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster. The younger woman tested positive for the virus on 10 March morning,

TWO CASES WITH NO ESTABLISHED LINKS

Case 228: 67-year-old Singaporean man

The 67-year-old man had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He reported developing symptoms on 3 March and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic and Bedok Polyclinic on 3, 11 and 13 March.

He visited Changi General Hospital (CGH)’s emergency department on 13 March and tested positive for the virus on Sunday afternoon. He is currently warded in an isolation room at the CGH.

Prior to his hospital admission, he mostly stayed at home at Sea Breeze Avenue except to seek medical treatment.

Case 234: 86-year-old Singaporean man

The man, who is the oldest COVID-19 case here to date, had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. He tested positive on Monday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the SGH.

Updates on cases 219-226: Five imported

The ministry also provided updates on eight of 14 cases announced on Sunday.

Case 219, a 30-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to affected countries and regions, had reported developing symptoms on 13 March and had visited the Sengkang General Hospital’s emergency department on the same day.

He tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning. Prior to his hospital admission, the Bishan Street 22 resident had gone to work at Sengkang Fire Station at 50 Buangkok Drive as an SCDF officer.

He also visited Meiban Mold Manufacture at 26 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2 and Furama Riverfront at 405 Havelock Road.

Patient 220, a 53-year-old male Singapore PR, is an imported case who had been in France from 10 to 12 March. He had reported developing symptoms on 12 March while in France, and visited the NCID two days later. He tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

The Dover Rise resident is a teaching staff at INSEAD Asia Campus at 1 Ayer Rajah Avenue, but had not gone to work since he developed symptoms.

Case 221, a 28-year-old Filipina who holds a Singapore work pass and had no recent travel history to affected countries and regions. She reported developing symptoms on 11 March.

As she had been identified as a contact of case 204, she was referred by MOH to the NCID on 14 March. She tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Patient 204, a 32-year-old American man, is an imported case who had travelled to Japan from 29 February to 8 March.

Prior to her hospital admission, the Tanjong Pagar Road resident had gone to work as a teaching staff at MY World Preschool at 52 Lengkok Bahru. She had also been on course at Training Masters Workforce Institute at 10 Arumugam Road as well as visited OUE Downtown Gallery at 6A Shenton Way.

Patient 222, a 41-year-old French man who holds a Singapore work pass, is an imported case who had been in France from 28 February to 7 March and 9 to 10 March, Spain from 7 to 9 March, and the Philippines from 12 to 13 March.

He reported developing of symptoms on 13 March and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day. He was referred to the NCID on the same day tested positive on Sunday morning.

Prior to his hospital admission, the Kensington Park Road resident had gone to work at Airbus Singapore at 12 Seletar Aerospace Link.

Patient 223, a 60-year-old Singaporean man, is an imported case who had been in the United States from 28 February to 7 March and Australia from 7 to 13 March. He reported developing symptoms on 13 March and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 14 March.

He was referred to the NCID on the same day. He tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning. Prior to his hospital admission, he mostly stayed at home at Serangoon Garden Terrace.

Case 224, a 50-year-old Singaporean man, had been in Malaysia from 1 to 4 March and is linked to the cluster involving the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong. As he had been identified as a contact of case 117, a 52-year-old Singaporean woman linked to the same dinner function, he was placed under quarantine since 5 March.

He reported developing symptoms on 13 March and was conveyed by ambulance to the NCID on 14 March. The Senja Road resident tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Patient 225, a 63-year-old Singaporean man, is an imported case who had been in Indonesia from 3 to 7 March. He reported developing symptoms on 9 March and had sought treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital three days later.

The Newton Road resident was referred to the NCID on 14 March and tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Patient 226, a 49-year-old Dutchman, is an imported case who had been in the Netherlands from 29 February to 13 March. He reported developing symptoms on 12 March while he was in the Netherlands and had sought treatment at the emergency department of Gleneagles Hospital two days after.

He was referred to the NCID on the same day. The Sixth Avenue resident tested positive for the virus on Sunday morning.

Most remaining patients improving, over 1.9k currently quarantined

Most of the remaining 134 hospitalised cases are stable or improving. 13 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

As of Monday noon, the MOH has identified 5,711 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 1,951 are currently quarantined, and 3,760 have completed their quarantine.

The health ministry also reiterated its advice for Singaporeans to defer all non-essential travel abroad.

Starting from 11.59pm on Monday, anyone entering Singapore and has travelled to the ASEAN region, Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom within the past 14 days would be made to serve a 14-day stay-home notice at their residence of choice for two weeks.

This measure does not apply to those entering via land and sea crossings with Malaysia.

(Information provided by Ministry of Health)

All travellers exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a swab test for the virus at checkpoints as well as serve a 14-day stay-home notice, whether they pass or fail it.

COVID-19’s death toll surpasses SARS epidemic

Declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 158 countries and territories including mainland China.

To date, the virus has left 3,213 people in China dead and sickened more than 174,000 globally. Over 3,400 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China, exceeding the number of deaths in mainland China.

At over 24,700 patients including 1,809 deaths, Italy has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as the most deaths outside mainland China.

Iran has the third-highest number with almost 15,000 cases including 853 deaths, while Spain has overtaken South Korea to place fourth with 9,191 cases including 309 deaths.

The global tally also includes cruise ship Diamond Princess, moored off Japan, which accounted for 696 cases, including seven related deaths so far. 

The novel strain belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also started in China.

Patients suffering from the new strain may exhibit fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness – such as coughing or difficulty in breathing – as well as pneumonia-like symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

However, some who have died from it have not displayed symptoms of fever, according to details released by China’s National Health Commission, potentially complicating global efforts to check for infected travellers as they arrive at airports and other travel hubs.

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