COVID-19: Singapore confirms 528 new cases, an additional death and 12 more clusters

Healthcare workers wearing protective masks are seen in the compound of a dormitory here on 29 April, 2020. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Healthcare workers wearing protective masks are seen in the compound of a dormitory here on 29 April, 2020. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (30 April) confirmed 528 new COVID-19 cases and one more death due to the virus in Singapore.

Singapore’s 15th fatality – and its youngest – from COVID-19 complications is a 58-year-old Singaporean woman who died on Thursday. The woman, identified as case 703, tested positive for the virus on 26 March.

Thursday’s announcement of cases brings the total tally here to 16,169 – the highest recorded in Southeast Asia. The ministry also identified 12 additional clusters, including one at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) linked to at least four cases.

Of the 528 new cases, 488, or over 92 per cent, are foreign workers living in dorms.

“Most of these cases have a mild illness and are being monitored in the community isolation facilities or general ward of our hospitals. Three are in the intensive care unit,” said the MOH.

Two of the cases in critical condition were admitted to hospital on 18 and 19 April, respectively, and were transferred to the intensive care unit when their condition had deteriorated, the ministry added.

The remaining patient was admitted directly to the intensive care unit, and tested positive for the virus subsequently.

Of the remaining cases, 31 are foreign workers residing outside dorms while nine are cases in the community, including six Singaporeans and permanent residents.

Overall, 15 per cent of the new cases have no established links.

The MOH said that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of 25 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 14 per day in the past week.

It added that the number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from an average of 17 cases per day in the week before, to an average of seven per day in the past week.

“We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme,” the ministry said.

Noting the increase in new cases among foreign workers residing outside dorms, the MOH added that the “vast majority” of them are workers in the construction sector serving their stay-home notices.

“Based on weekly averages, the number has decreased, from an average of 29 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 19 per day in the past week,” it said.

The 12 additional clusters, including the IMH, are linked to 9 Benoi Crescent, 24 Benoi Place, 2 Fan Yoong Road, 10 Gul Drive, 23 Kaki Bukit Road 6, 17 Soon Lee Road, JTC Space @ Tuas at 16 Tuas Avenue 1, 1 & 2 Tuas Avenue 10, 81 Tuas South Street 5, and 54/56 Tuas View Square.

More than 50 clusters linked to foreign worker dormitories have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,449 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Tuas View Dormitory linked to 931 cases and Sungei Tengah Lodge linked to 930 cases.

The three are among the 25 dorms that have been gazetted as isolation areas and account for some 31 per cent of the total 13,842 infected cases across the dorms.

Some 300,000 foreign workers live in dorms here in Singapore.

(For more details on the breakdown of the clusters, read here.)

56 more discharged; 22 in ICU

The ministry said on Thursday that 56 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 1,244 have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 1,708 hospitalised cases are stable or improving while 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 13,202 patients who exhibit mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for the virus, are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 15 deaths related to COVID-19 complications, four patients who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes.

The latest fatalities include a 40-year-old Malaysian man who died of a heart attack on 18 April and a 46-year-old Indian national whose fatal injuries were linked to a fall from height after being found at a staircase landing in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last week. Both had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to their deaths.

As of 27 April, the ministry has conducted 143,919 swab tests, of which 99,929 were done on unique individuals.

Over 3.2m cases globally

To date, there are over 3.2 million COVID-19 cases globally – it took 83 days to reach the first million cases worldwide and just 14 days for the second million.

Over 230,000 have died from the virus, with the US holding the record for the highest global death toll at close to 51,000.

At over 1 million cases, the country also holds the record of having the largest number of patients globally, followed by Spain at over 239,000 cases, Italy at over 205,000, and France with over 166,000 cases.

China, where the virus originated, has reported almost 83,000 cases and more than 4,600 deaths, after it abruptly readjusted its death toll higher by 50 per cent on 17 April.

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