COVID-19: Singapore reports 170 new cases, 24 in the community

A man with a facemask walks past a wall mural in Singapore’s Little India district on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Wearing of facemarks is mandatory for everyone who goes outside their homes to control the spread of the coronavirus in the city state. Singapore has reported more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases, with 90% of the cases linked to foreign workers dormitories, but it has a low fatality rate of 21 deaths. (AP Photo/YK Chan)
A man with a facemask walks past a wall mural in Singapore’s Little India district. (AP Photo/YK Chan)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 170 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday afternoon (10 July), bringing the total to 45,783.

The vast majority of these cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. There are 24 cases in the community, of whom seven are Singaporeans, six are work pass holders and 11 are work permit holders.

There is one imported case today involving a female Indian national, 36, who returned to Singapore from India on 6 July. She is a work pass holder who is currently employed in Singapore, the ministry said. She had been placed on a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore, and had been tested while serving SHN.

Of the 24 cases in the community, 19 were picked up as a result of proactive surveillance and screening, and five had already been placed on quarantine earlier. A total of 20 of the cases were asymptomatic.

A total of nine of the community cases are currently unlinked. All of them are asymptomatic, and were identified from periodic screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dormitories, the MOH said.

Epidemiological investigations of the unlinked cases are in progress. “In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases 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,” the ministry said. “We will also conduct serological tests for their household contacts to determine if these cases could have been infected by them.”

Details of cases on 11 July (Table: Ministry of Health)
Details of cases on 11 July (Table: Ministry of Health)

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased, from an average of nine cases per day in the week before, to an average of 19 per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased, from an average of five cases per day in the week before, to an average of nine per day in the past week.

Thousands have recovered from COVID-19

With an additional 246 patients who have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, a total of 42,026 have fully recovered from the infection.

There are currently 192 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and one is in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 3,539 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 26 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 14 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, including a 48-year-old male Indian national, 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.

As of 29 June, the ministry has conducted 757,746 swab tests, of which 414,396 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 132,900 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 72,700 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Manpower said in a media release that 384 more dormitories have been cleared of COVID-19 with effect from Tuesday (7 July).

These comprise one purpose-built dormitory, 345 factory-converted dormitories and 38 construction temporary quarters. In addition, 23 blocks for recovered workers in 5 purpose-built dormitories have been cleared.

This takes the total number to 625 dormitories and 44 blocks for recovered workers in 17 purpose-built dormitories cleared of COVID-19.

Singapore entered Phase 2 of its reopening – with various safe distancing measures still in place – on 19 June. This phase is expected to last up to six months or longer, according to authorities.

Singapore’s General Election took place on 10 July during this phase.

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