COVID-19: 18 community, 7 imported cases among 136 new infections in SG, including MI student and catering company employee

A staff wearing protective mask carries balloons for sale at Universal Studios at Resorts World Sentosa on 3 July, 2020 in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (5 July) confirmed 136 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 44,800, as well as 324 more recoveries.

Of them, 18 people – including five Singaporeans and one permanent resident – aged between two and 66 are classified as cases in the community, the highest such daily reported tally in three weeks.

Seven others are imported cases aged between 21 and 50, while the remaining 111 are foreign workers living in dormitories.

Overall, seven per cent of the new cases have no established links.

Of the 18 community cases, 10 are linked to previous cases or clusters, said the MOH.

Amongst them, five – cases 44726, 44746, 44836, 44702, and 44799 – had been identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases and had been tested during their quarantine.

Another four – cases 44778, 44781, 44783, and 44785 – comprising two pairs of housemates, were detected as part of the screening of workers in essential services, even though they are all asymptomatic, said the MOH.

“They could have past infections, but as a precautionary measure, all others staying in the same residences will be placed on quarantine,” the ministry added.

The remaining case – no. 44814 – was tested after developing symptoms. A 30-year-old Singaporean man was identified as a colleague of an earlier case – no. 44562 – who works at the Shiok Kitchen Catering but they had been working in different sections of the company.

“MOH is investigating the possible exposures and links, and will take appropriate action to prevent further transmission,” said the ministry

Of the eight unlinked community cases, five – cases 44780, 44782, 44784, 44786 and 44787 – are asymptomatic, and were picked up as a result of our proactive testing as they work in essential services.

The remaining – cases 44713, 44714 and 44727 – had been tested as part of a community testing to test all individuals aged 13 and above who are diagnosed with acute respiratory infection at first presentation to a doctor from 1 July. Case 44713 has been identified as a 20-year-old Singaporean student at Millennia Institute.

Epidemiological investigations are in progress for these cases, said the ministry.

“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 44702 and 44799 were positive, which indicate likely past infections,” it added.

The test results for the remaining cases are pending.

7 imported cases, five returned to Singapore from India

The seven imported cases consist of two Singaporeans, two PRs, two long-term visit pass holders, and 1 dependant’s Pass holder.

Five had returned to Singapore from India on 23 June – cases 44707, 44708, 44761, and 44725 – and 20 June – case 44721.

The remaining two – cases 44834 and 44835 – returned to Singapore from Yemen on 24 June. All of them had been tested while serving their notice.

The ministry said that the number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of seven per day in the week before, to an average of 10 per day in the past week.

Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased, from an average of three cases per day in the week before, to an average of five per day in the past week, it added.

Nine places have been added to the list of public venues visited by community cases during their infectious period. They are:

  • Boon Lay Place Market and Food Village (221A Boon Lay Place)

  • Yuhua Market & Hawker Centre (347 Jurong East Avenue 1)

  • Giant at IMM (2 Jurong East Street 21)

  • Fengshan Market & Food Centre (85 Bedok North Street 4)

  • Toast Box, Courts, NTUC FairPrice at Jurong Point

  • NTI Food Court (964 Jurong West Street 91)

  • All India Supermart (41 Norris Road)

Separately, the ministry said that Jurong Apartments at 553 Upper Jurong Road, Seatown Dormitory at 69H Tuas South Avenue 1 as well as dorms at 566 Woodlands Road and 143 Tuas View Square have been cleared.

“(They) now house only recovered individuals and those who have recently tested negative for COVID-19 infection. As such, the clusters have now been closed,” it added.

As of 28 June, 87,000 foreign workers have been cleared of COVID-19, including those residing in government-provided accommodation facilities. A forecast of dormitories and blocks to be cleared from now till August onwards has been published on the ministry’s website.

A total of 42,264 COVID-19 cases in Singapore are foreign workers living in such residences.

90% have fully recovered

With 324 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Sunday, 40,441 cases – 90.2 per cent of the total tally – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 212 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 4,121 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 26 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 12 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, including the 48-year-old male Indian national, 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 29 June, the ministry has conducted 757,746 swab tests, of which 414,396 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 132,900 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 72,700 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

Singapore entered Phase 2 of its reopening – with various safe distancing measures still in place – on 19 June. This phase is expected to last up to six months or longer, according to authorities.

Singapore’s General Election will take place on 10 July during this phase.

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