'Unusual surge': 5,324 new COVID cases in Singapore, 10 more deaths

People in protective masks sit at a food centre in Singapore on Saturday, 23 October, 2021. (Photo by Joseph Nair/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
People wearing protective masks sit at a food centre in Singapore on 23 October, 2021. (PHOTO: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (27 October) confirmed a record 5,324 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 184,419 – as well as 10 deaths due to the disease.

Of the single-day record high, the ministry said that it is looking into the "unusual surge" in cases within a relatively short window, and will closely monitor the trends for the next few days.

"The infection numbers are unusually high today, mostly due to many COVID- positive cases detected by the testing laboratories within a few hours in the afternoon," it added.

Wednesday marks the 38th day in a row with fatalities from COVID-19 reported in Singapore, with 248 people having succumbed to it this month.

The 340th to 349th COVID-19 deaths in Singapore were aged between 54 and 96. All except an unvaccinated case had various underlying medical conditions.

Of the new cases, 5,312 are local infections: 4,651 are in the community and 661 reside in the migrant worker dormitories. The remaining 12 are imported.

Among the local cases are 728 people aged above 60, said the MOH, adding that the weekly infection growth rate is 1.15.

Seven active COVID-19 clusters are being closely monitored in Singapore, including those at two preschools.

Of the list of monitored clusters, the highest number of nine new cases was added to the cluster at the Institute of Mental Health. The cluster now has 153 cases, consisting of 143 patients and 10 staff members.

Two new cases were each added to clusters at the Maple Bear Loyang preschool, Banyan Home @ Pelangi Village, AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens, and MWS Christalite Methodist Home, now totalling 16, 79, 80, and 126 infections, respectively.

One new case was also each added to clusters at the Bukit Batok Home for the Aged and PCF Sparkletots @ Zhenghua at Block 632A Senja Road, now totalling 157 and 26 infections, respectively.

308 require oxygen supplementation; 142 in ICU

A total of 3,172 cases were discharged on Wednesday, of whom 484 are patients aged 60 and above, said the MOH.

Currently, 1,777 cases – or 6.3 per cent – are currently warded in hospital, most of whom are well and under observation. A total of 20,895 cases – or 74.3 per cent – are undergoing home recovery, while 4,589 cases are in community care facilities, and 849 are in COVID-19 treatment facilities.

Over the last 28 days, of the 90,203 infected individuals, 98.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms.

There are currently 308 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation. A total of 142 cases are in the intensive care unit (ICU) – 76 are unstable and under close monitoring to prevent further deterioration, while 66 are critically ill and intubated.

The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 79.8 per cent, said the MOH, adding that it is in the process of standing up more ICU beds. On Tuesday, the ministry had said that it has triggered the next 100 ICU beds, which will be ready next week.

The MOH noted that over the past seven days, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who are critically ill in the ICU are at 0.5 and 4.3 per 100,000 population, respectively.

Over the same period, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who died are 0.1 and 0.8 per 100,000 population, respectively, it added.

Among those aged 60 and above, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who are critically ill in the ICU are 2.2 and 32.6, respectively. The number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated seniors who died are 0.3 and 7.7, respectively, said the MOH.

Apart from the 349 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.

As of Tuesday, over 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – those by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and more recently, Sinovac – have been administered under the national vaccination programme.

Some 4.73 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with some 4.67 million having completed the full vaccination regimen. A total of 745,102 have taken their booster shots.

Separately, 43,773 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) have been administered as of Tuesday, covering 24,471 individuals.

This means that 84 per cent of the population have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 85 per cent have received at least one dose and 14 per cent have received their booster shots.

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