SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 277 COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Friday (24 July), bringing the total to 49,375.
The ministry also announced a new cluster of four cases linked to Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub at 15 Petir Road.
Of the new cases, three are classified as cases in the community, while two are imported cases. The remaining 272 are foreign workers living in dorms.
Overall, only one per cent of the new cases have no established links.
One of the three community cases is asymptomatic, and was detected through proactive testing, said the MOH.
Two of them are linked to previous cases or clusters. One – case 49453 – had been identified as a contact of a previously confirmed case, and was tested when he became symptomatic shortly after being identified as a close contact.
The remaining case – no. 49440 – was detected as part of proactive case finding of individuals working at a newly emergent workplace cluster. He went to work at Ulu Pandan Bus Depot and Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub, and is part of the newly-announced Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub cluster.
The sole unlinked community case, no. 49439, was identified from proactive screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dorms, even though he is asymptomatic.
“Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, we also conducted serological tests to determine if some of these cases are current or past infections. The serological test results for cases 49439 and 49440 have come back positive, which indicate likely past infections,” said the MOH.
Meanwhile, epidemiological investigations of the unlinked case are in progress. Additionally, all identified close contacts have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that asymptomatic cases can be detected, the ministry said.
“We will also conduct serological tests for his household contacts to determine if he could have been infected by them,” the MOH added.
Both imported cases are dependant’s pass holders who returned to Singapore from India on 12 July. They had been placed on 14-day stay-home notice upon their arrival here and had been tested while serving their notice.
The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 11 cases per day in the week before, to an average of eight per day in the past week.
Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of six cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week.
The ministry also announced that Cochrane Lodge I at 51 Admiralty Road West has been cleared and the cluster is determined to be closed. It now houses only recovered individuals and those who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 infection, it added.
Separately, all dorms in Singapore and workers living there are expected to be cleared of the virus by 7 August, with the exception of 17 standalone blocks in eight purpose-built dorms which serve as quarantine facilities as well as 28,000 workers still serving out their isolation period.
Following that, the workers will continue to be regularly and routinely tested as they go back to work.
As of 20 July, about 247,000 foreign workers living in dorms have either recovered, or have been tested to be free from the virus. Of Singapore’s total COVID-19 tally, over 46,554 – some 94 per cent – are such workers.
Some 91% recovered, 0 in ICU
With 157 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 45,172 cases – some 91per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.
Most of the 157 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 4,019 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.
Apart from 27 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.
“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,” said the MOH in previous press releases, adding that the method of assessment is consistent with international practices for classifying deaths.
As of 20 July, the ministry has conducted 1,170,049 swab tests, of which 571,496 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 205,300 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 100,300 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.
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