COVID-19: Singapore confirms 19 new cases, one in community

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
Senior citizens at a vaccination centre in Singapore.
Senior citizens at a vaccination centre in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 19 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Thursday (4 March), taking the country's total case count to 59,998.

There is one new case of locally-transmitted infection from the community.

In addition, there are 18 imported cases, who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore.

Of the new cases, 16 are asymptomatic and three are symptomatic. 

The sole community case is an 81-year-old Singaporean woman who is the wife of an earlier case, and a retiree. Her 82-year-old husband is also a retiree. She developed a fever and chills on 27 February but did not seek medical attention, and recovered on the same day. 

However, she received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 26 February, and these symptoms might also have been due to the vaccination. As she had been identified as a close contact of her husband, she was placed on quarantine on 2 March, and was tested for COVID-19 as part of the protocol to test individuals during quarantine. 

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, and she was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. Her serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

As the vaccine does not contain live virus, she could not have been infected due to vaccination. It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from four cases in the week before to three cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at two cases per week in the past two weeks.

Amongst the 18 imported cases, three are Singaporeans and one is a Singapore permanent resident who returned from Ghana, India, Indonesia and the US; one is a work pass holder who arrived from Malaysia; 11 are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, of whom five are foreign domestic workers; one is a student's pass holder who arrived from the US for studies in Singapore; and one is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Indonesia to visit her Singaporean relative.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With eight more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 59,857 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 24 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, with one of them in the intensive care unit.

A total of 88 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 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, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Amongst the 98 confirmed cases reported from 26 February to 4 March, 39 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 30 have tested negative, and 29 serology test results are pending.

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