COVID-19: Singapore confirms 24 new cases, 17 recovered workers from dorm infected so far

·Editorial Team
·5-min read
A man receives his vaccination at a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination center in Singapore March 8, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man receives his vaccination at a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Singapore on 8 March 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 24 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Thursday (22 April) including 22 imported cases, one case in the community, and one dormitory resident, taking the country's total case count to 60,904.

"Amongst the new cases today, 19 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while five were symptomatic," said the MOH.

The sole community case on Thursday is linked to a previous case. He is an 11-year-old male Indian national who is a student’s pass holder. 

He is the child of two previously confirmed cases and a household contact of a third. The boy is a student at Dimensions International College. 

As he had been identified as a close contact of one of the three cases, he was placed on home quarantine on 16 April. He was tested for COVID-19 on 17 April and 19 April during quarantine and his test results were negative. 

On 21 April, he developed a fever and reported his symptom to the MOH. Another test was taken, and this time his result came back positive for COVID. 

The boy was conveyed in an ambulance to the National University Hospital. "His serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection," said the MOH.

Dorm case fully-vaccinated 

The sole dorm case on Thursday is also linked to a previous case. He is a 32-year-old male Bangladesh national who arrived in Singapore in December 2018. 

The work permit holder is employed by Prosper Environmental & Engineering as a construction supervisor and works at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard. 

The man resides at Westlite Woodlands Dormitory and is the roommate of a fellow construction supervisor at the same company.

As he had been identified as a close contact of his infected colleague, he was placed on quarantine at a government quarantine facility on 19 April. 

He is asymptomatic, but was tested for COVID-19 on 20 April during quarantine to determine his status. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day, and he was conveyed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. His earlier tests from RRT – the last being on 13 April – were all negative for COVID-19. His serology test result is pending. 

The man received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 13 March, and the second dose on 3 April. 

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"This likely accounts for his lack of symptoms. The COVID19 vaccine is effective in preventing symptomatic disease for the vast majority of those vaccinated, but it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected," said the MOH.

It added that further research is required to determine if the vaccination will also prevent onward transmission of the infection. 

"This is a reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down. Our existing key enablers – safe management measures, testing, and contact tracing – continue to be necessary and effective in helping us to mitigate spread and keep community transmission low," the ministry said.

As part of investigations into the man's colleague, the MOH and the Ministry of Manpower have commenced a special testing operations to test residents of Westlite Woodlands Dormitory for COVID-19, the MOH said.

"So far, 17 recovered workers were found to be positive for COVID-19. These cases were immediately isolated and conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases," it added.

The ministry, together with a panel of infectious diseases and microbiology experts, is investigating if they are re-infection cases.

The MOH said that the number of new cases in the community has increased from two in the week before to 10 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one in the week before to five in the past week.

22 imported cases, including 2 children

Among the 22 imported cases, one is a Singaporean while two are permanent residents who returned from India, Malaysia, and Pakistan. 

Four others are dependant’s pass holders, including a four-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, who arrived from India, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Two cases are student's pass holders who arrived from India, while three are work pass holders who arrived from India and the Maldives. 

Eight others are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, of whom three are foreign domestic workers. 

The remaining two are short-term visit pass holders, including a sea crew member who arrived from India to board a vessel in Singapore and a case who arrived from Ethiopia for a work project here. 

All 22 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice.

Authorities announced on Thursday that it will ban all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history, including transit history, to India within the last 14 days, starting from 11.59pm on Friday until further notice.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 27 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 60,603 cases – or 99.5 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 67 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while one of them is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 204 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 30 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.

Among the 169 confirmed cases reported from 16 to 22 April, 63 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 81 have tested negative, and 25 serology test results are pending.

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