COVID-19: Singapore reports single-day high of 120 new cases, 3 more clusters; total 1,309

People wear facemasks to try to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus as they walk through a shopping district on Orchard Road in Singapore on April 5, 2020. (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing facemasks as they walk on Orchard Road on 5 April 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Sunday (5 April) 120 more coronavirus cases here – the highest number of cases in a single day to date – bringing the country’s total to 1,309.

Of the 120 new cases, four are imported cases, while the remaining 116 are local transmissions.

Among the local cases, there were links to existing clusters for 50 cases. Contact tracing is ongoing for the remaining 66 cases.

There were three new clusters reported.

Three of the new cases (cases 1193, 1226, 1299) are linked to two previous cases (case 1049 and 1140), forming a new cluster at Tampines Dormitory.

Two of the earlier confirmed cases (cases 1018 and 1144) are linked to a new cluster at Cochrane Lodge I at Admiralty Road West.

Four of the earlier confirmed cases (cases 1049, 1012,1183, 1184) are linked to a new cluster at a construction site at Battery Road.

More cases in dormitories

Another 22 new cases from the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol at Seletar North Link and 10 new cases from Westlite Toh Guan dormitory at Toh Guan Road East have been reported. This brings the total to 63 cases at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol and 28 cases at Westlite.

Three more cases are linked to the cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory at Toh Guan Road East, which has a total of eight confirmed cases (cases 963, 1079, 1106, 1148, 1150, 1195, 1254 and 1273).

One more case is linked to the cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge at Old Choa Chu Kang Road, which has a total of four confirmed cases (cases 1054, 1077, 1124 and 1267).

Three more cases are linked to the cluster at a construction site at Project Glory at Market Street, which has a total of 15 confirmed cases (cases 956, 967, 1019, 1065, 1078, 1079, 1104, 1120, 1124, 1149, 1162, 1181, 1191, 1226 and 1273).

Nine more cases are linked to the cluster at Mustafa Centre, which has a total of 28 confirmed cases.

One more case is linked to the cluster at Keppel Shipyard, which has a total of seven cases now (cases 878, 898, 907, 1076, 1158, 1172 and 1270).

In light of the increase in cases within foreign worker dormitories in recent days, the MOH has gazetted two of the dorms, S11 and Westlite, as social isolation areas with almost 20,000 workers comprising 13,000 at S11 and 6,800 at Westlite under quarantine. This means that residents will have to stay in the dorms in existing rooms for the next 14 days.

The latest measures were announced at a virtual media conference held by the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 on Sunday.

Health Minister and co-chair of the taskforce Gan Kim Yong said the government is looking at preparing the Expo as a possible site for a community care facility to house patients who have recovered but are still infectious. This comes after Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and the Community Isolation Facility at D’Resort NTUC were designated to isolate and care for such patients.

Details on two of the new cases

Case 1237 is a 35 year-old Singaporean woman who is a doctor at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital but had not gone to work since onset of symptoms.

She has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions. On Friday, she reported onset of symptoms, and subsequent test results confirmed her COVID-19 infection on Saturday. She is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital.

Case 1238 is a 27 year-old male Indian national who is a Singapore Work Pass holder. He is employed as a technician at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and had been at work for less than an hour after onset of symptoms.

He has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions. On Friday, he reported onset of symptoms, and subsequent test results confirmed his COVID-19 infection on Saturday afternoon. He is currently warded in an isolation room at NTFGH.

To date, a total of 320 cases have recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities including 23 more cases reported on Sunday.

Of the 569 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. A total of 25 are in the intensive care unit. In addition, 414 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and cared for at Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital and the Community Isolation Facility at D’Resort NTUC.

As of Sunday, 12pm, MOH has identified 17,345 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 5,995 are currently quarantined, and 11,350 have completed their quarantine.

Measures to combat spread of coronavirus in S’pore

Six have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection in Singapore, with the latest fatality – an 88-year-old male Permanent Resident – succumbing to it early Saturday morning.

Last Friday, Singapore announced an enhanced set of social distancing measures that includes the closure of schools and most workplaces. Only essential services like food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport, and key banking services will remain open from Tuesday (7 April) until 4 May.

Meanwhile, Singapore will no longer discourage the public from wearing face masks, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called these new measures as “circuit breakers” to pre-empt escalating COVID-19 infection.

All Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from overseas apart from Hubei province must serve the 14-day stay-home notice, while those returning from Hubei must serve a 14-day quarantine. All short-term visitors are barred from entering or transiting via Singapore.

Anyone who flouts the 14-day stay-home notice by leaving the place of accommodation or residence they are serving the notice in will be subjected to steep penalties.

Patients who flout their five-day medical leave can face steep penalties such as a fine of up to $10,000, according to the MOH’s latest updates to the Infectious Diseases Act.

The same penalties also apply to those who intentionally sit on a seat or stand in a queue less than one metre away from another person in public venues, from now till end-April.

Those on five-day sick leave or serving a stay-home notice must also wear a mask if they have to leave their place of accommodation to seek emergency medical treatment.

The Singapore government would also allocate over $48 billion to combat the “unprecedented” COVID-19 crisis, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Ministerial Statement in Parliament last Thursday.

The sum is on top of the $6.4 billion Unity Budget announced by Heng in February that was meant to alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic.

Heng will announce further measures to help businesses and households on Monday in Parliament.

More than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases globally

To date, there are over 1,216,000 COVID-19 cases globally. Over 67,000 have died from the virus, with Italy and Spain accounting for more than 40 per cent of the total.

At over 320,000 cases, the US now holds the record of having the largest number of patients globally, followed by Spain at over 130,000 cases, Italy at over 124,000, Germany at over 97,000, and France at over 89,000.

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