Singapore reports 690 new COVID-19 cases, mostly foreign workers

Gurdip Singh

Singapore, Apr 29 (PTI) Singapore on Wednesday reported 690 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of COVID-19 patients, a vast majority of whom are foreigners, to 15,641, the health ministry said.

Out of the 690 fresh cases, six are Singapore citizens or permanent residents while the rest of them are foreigners with work permits residing in dormitories, it said.

'We are still working through the details of the cases, and further updates will be shared via the press release that will be issued tonight,' the ministry said.

'The main increase today continues to be for work permit holders residing in dormitories, where we are picking up many more cases because of extensive testing,' said the ministry.

A total of 19 of the new cases were work permit holders (foreigners), living outside dormitories, it said.

It said that the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 15,641.

Of the new cases, 63 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing, the ministry said.

Twenty two of the 1,714 confirmed cases are still in hospitals and are in critical condition. Most of the rest are stable or improving.

A total of 62 more COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, it said.

To date, 1,188 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

So far, a total of 12,183 of the 323,000 migrant workers living in dormitories - about 3.77 per cent - have tested positive, putting the spotlight on their living conditions, according to reports.

Fourteen people have died to date from complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Meanwhile, a media report said that the local transmission of the coronavirus in the general community has been low, at least up until the middle of March, based on findings by researchers from the COVID-19 research group at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

This shows that Singapore's contact tracing efforts have been effective, according to three studies by the NCID that are among the first of their kind in the world, according to The Straits Times report.

However, this also means that immunity rates are low and much of Singapore's population remains susceptible to the virus, NCID executive director Leo Yee Sin told reporters on Wednesday. PTI GS CPS MRJ MRJ