COVID-19: Singapore reports 884 new cases and single-day high of 626 recoveries

Customers queue up to have their haircut outside a hairdressing salon as they reopen for business amid the outbreak here on 12 May, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (12 May) confirmed 884 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, bringing the total to 24,671, as well as a single-day high of 626 recoveries.

The ministry also reported that two men, who tested positive for the virus, had died of unrelated causes, bringing the total of such deaths to nine.

One of them is a 50-year-old Thai man, who died on Tuesday from cerebral haemorrhage and had tested positive for the virus a day before. The man, identified as case 23908, had been sent to the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital’s emergency department after suffering respiratory arrest on Sunday.

The other is a 31-year-old male Indian national who died on Sunday from coronary thrombosis and was confirmed to be infected a day after. The man, identified as case 24013, had collapsed after complaining of chest pain while at his dormitory.

Of the 884 new cases, 877, or 99 per cent, are foreign workers living in dorms.

The number of new cases from the testing of workers with acute respiratory infection (ARI) symptoms and their contacts remains stable, said the MOH,

“But the number of daily cases continues to rise as we are also testing the workers who are well and asymptomatic, as part of our process to verify and test the status of every worker. We had started this intensive testing at the purpose-built dormitories, and are now doing so for the factory-converted dormitories,” it added.

Among the remaining cases, three are foreign workers residing outside dorms, while three others are Singaporeans, including a 55-year-old male staff member at Shaw Lodge dorm, a 55-year-old female patient service associate at the Changi General Hospital (CGH) and a 63-year-old female nurse clinician at the Singapore General Hospital.

Prior to her admission into the CGH, the patient service associate, identified as case 24255, had gone to work for a few hours. Prior to her admission into the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, the nurse clinician, identified as case 24016, had not gone to work since developing the symptoms.

Both women had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions and tested positive for the virus on Monday.

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

The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of eight cases per day in the week before, to an average of seven per day in the past week (6-12 May).

The number of unlinked cases in the community has similarly decreased from an average of four cases per day in the week before, to an average of three per day in the past week, it added.

The number of new cases among foreign workers residing outside dorms has also decreased from an average of seven cases per day in the week before, to an average of six per day in the past week.

The MOH also identified seven additional clusters linked to 45 Kian Teck Drive, 3 Loyang Way 6, 36 Senoko Road, 7 Senoko South Road, 3 Sungei Kadut Avenue, 46 Tech Park Crescent and 5 Woodlands Industrial Park E1.

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,549 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge linked to 1,320 cases, and Tuas View Dormitory linked to 1,248 cases.

The three are among the 25 dorms that have been gazetted as isolation areas and account for some 23 per cent of 22,334 total infected cases across all dorms. Some 400,000 foreign workers live in dorms here in Singapore.

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

Over 3,800 patients discharged overall; 20 in ICU

With the additional 626 patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, a total of 3,851 cases here have fully recovered from the infection, said the ministry on Tuesday.

Most of the 1,132 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while 20 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, down from 24 on Monday.

A total of 19,667 cases who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive the virus are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 21 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,” reiterated the MOH, who added that the practice is consistent with international practices for classifying deaths.

The ministry noted that 86 male foreign workers aged 25 to 59 died due to heart disease in Singapore In 2018.

As of 4 May, the ministry has conducted 175,604 swab tests, of which 123,525 were done on unique individuals.

This translates to about 30,800 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and around 21,600 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

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