COVID-19: Singapore reports 682 new cases, total at 28,038

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
A barber wearing a face mask as a prevention measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus attends to a customer at a hair salon, after they reopened as restrictions to contain the outbreak were relaxed, in Singapore on May 12, 2020. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A barber wearing a face mask as a prevention measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus attends to a customer at a hair salon, after they reopened as restrictions to contain the outbreak were relaxed, in Singapore on May 12, 2020. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported 682 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of noon on Sunday (17 May), bringing the total to 28,038.

Of the cases, 673 are foreign workers living in dormitories. There are five cases in the local community, with four of them being Singaporeans.

The ministry added that of the four cases, two are flatmates who had been identified as contacts of an earlier confirmed case, and had been placed on quarantine from 29 April. Upon testing at the end of their quarantine, they were found to be positive for COVID-19. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining two cases.

One of the four, a 24-year-old man, works at CDPL Tuas Dormitory, a cluster, and had gone to work after the onset of symptoms on the 10 May. His infection was confirmed on Saturday.

The oldest Singaporean among the four is a 93-year-old woman.

Details of cases on 17 May (Table: Ministry of Health)
Details of cases on 17 May (Table: Ministry of Health)

A total of 998 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, the MOH said. In all, 9,340 have fully recovered from the infection.

There are currently 1,210 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 16 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 17,466 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

To date, 22 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

Clusters linked to dorms

One new cluster was announced on Sunday: 9 Sungei Kadut Avenue.

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 and Tuas View Dormitory.

The three 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 on Tuesday.

Apart from the 22 who have passed away due to COVID-19 complications, nine patients who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack.

“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 10 May, the ministry has conducted 224,262 swab tests, of which 216,102 were done on unique individuals.

This translates to around 39,300 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 37,900 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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