COVID-19: 19 of 31 new cases in S'pore from community; 1 Changi Prison inmate

·Editorial Team
·6-min read
People dine at a restaurant in a shopping mall in Singapore on May 14, 2021, ahead of tightening restrictions over concerns of a rise in Covid-19 coronavirus cases. (Photo by Roslan Rahman / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
People dine at a restaurant in a shopping mall in Singapore on May 14, 2021, ahead of tightening restrictions over concerns of a rise in Covid-19 coronavirus cases. (Photo by Roslan Rahman / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (15 May) confirmed 31 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,536.

There are 19 new community cases, with 17 of them linked to previous cases and two are currently unlinked. Among them, 11 had already been placed on quarantine earlier. 

There are 12 imported cases, who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore. 

Of the two unlinked community cases, one is a 53-year-old Singaporean man who works as a personal chauffeur. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, which is prevalent in South Asia.

The other unlinked case is a 49-year-old Singaporean man who is currently unemployed. He received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on 10 May.

Three cases are linked but not categorised under any cluster:

  • A 55-year-old Singaporean woman who is a homemaker. She is a family member and household contact of a previously confirmed case, a 22-year-old Singaporean man who works as a cook at WOK HEY (White Sands).

  • A 70-year-old Singaporean man who is a retiree. He is a family member and household contact of a previously confirmed case, a 70-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree. 

  • A 32-year-old Singaporean man who is an inmate at Changi Prison Complex. He is a close contact of a previously confirmed case, a 39-year-old male China national who is employed by SATS Food Services as a chef at the prison. 

In a statement on Saturday, the Singapore Prison Service said it will be testing about 5,000 inmates, staff, and partners vendors over the next few days after the prison chef was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19.

There are currently 13 active clusters. 

Learning Point tutor cluster: 3 new cases, 9 in total

The "Case 63131" cluster is named after the case number of a 50-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a tutor at Learning Point at Parkway Centre and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 12 May.

The three new cases in the cluster are:

  • a 41-year-old Singaporean man who works as a sales personnel at Aero Light. 

  • A 12-year-old Singaporean boy, and an 8-year-old Singaporean boy who are siblings, and students at St Andrew’s Junior School. 

Sengkang General Hospital nurse cluster: 2 new cases, 5 in total

The "Case 3096" cluster has been named the case number of a 33-year-old Filipino man who works as an operating theatre nurse at Sengkang General Hospital and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 11 May.

The man has tested preliminarily positive for the Indian variant – or B1617 – and is pending further confirmatory tests.

The two new cases are:

  • a 6 year-old Singaporean boy who is a student at Palm View Primary School. 

  • a 7-year-old Singaporean boy who is a student at Yio Chu Kang Primary School. 

TTSH nurse cluster: 1 new case, 46 in total

The "Case 62541" cluster has been named after the case number of a Filipino nurse, who is deployed at Ward 9D and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 27 April.

The new case is: 

  • an 80-year-old Singaporean woman who had been warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital Ward 9D from 5 April, and was transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on 28 April.

Changi Airport cluster: 8 new cases, 1 retroactively linked, 68 in total

The "Case 62873" cluster is named after an 88-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. The fully-vaccinated man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 5 May.

The eight new cases are:

  • a 25 year-old Malaysian woman who works as an assistant cook at Kopitiam located at Changi Airport Terminal 3. 

  • a 24-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a technology associate at Toronto-Dominion Bank. 

  • a 42-year-old female China national who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner at Robinson 77. 

  • a 52 year-old female China national who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner at Robinson 77. 

  • a 56-year-old Singaporean woman who is a homemaker, and a 26-year-old Singaporean man who is a freelance photographer. 

  • a 70-year-old Singaporean woman who works as an executive at 1FSS but has been working from home since 30 April. 

  • a 52-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by SATS as a customer service officer at Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3. He was fully vaccinated as of 15 February.

In addition, a 40-year-old Singaporean woman who was a previously confirmed case was linked to the cluster after whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. She works as a risk assessment personnel at Lendlease.

Amongst the 12 imported cases,

• one is a Singaporean and six are Singapore permanent residents who returned from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

• one is a work pass holder who arrived from Sri Lanka.

• four are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines. 

Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures

The MOH said that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 43 in the week before to 103 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from six in the week before to 16 in the past week.

Authorities on Friday announced a slew of tighter safe management measures under Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), which will begin this Sunday through to 13 June, to curb the spread of the virus.

These measures include banning dining-in at F&B establishments, reinstating work from home as default work arrangement, as well as cutting down group sizes for social gatherings and visitors per household from five to two persons.

All already been placed on SHN upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving SHN. The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed.

The number of imported cases from South Asia over the past 28 days was 271, with half of them being Singaporeans or permanent residents, MOH said on Saturday in a separate media statement.

99% of total cases have recovered, 3 in ICU

With 15 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Saturday, 61,062 cases – or 99.2 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 190 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while three of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 253 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 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 205 confirmed cases reported from 9 to 15 May, 68 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 111 have tested negative, and 26 serology test results are pending.

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