Singapore, Aug 27 (PTI) Singapore on Thursday reported 77 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s coronavirus caseload to 56,572, health officials said.
The new cases include five imported ones, who had been placed on stay-home notices upon their arrival in Singapore. Two reported from the community, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The rest of the patients are migrant workers.
The 10 imported cases reported on Wednesday had returned from India, the Philippines and the US.
All of them had been placed on a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore, and were serving their SHN at dedicated facilities. They had been tested while serving their SHN.
As many as 155 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.
In all, 54,971 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.
There are currently 65 confirmed cases in hospital while 1,432 are isolated and cared for at community facilities for mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a team of doctors and researchers in Singapore has started a cardiac research programme to better understand why some patients who are hit hard by COVID-19 also suffer heart damage, and how to prevent this from happening.
The National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS) team aims to recruit 100 COVID-19 patients, as mounting evidence overseas suggests some patients continue to suffer long-term complications even after recovery.
Though serious complications related to the heart after recovery are not common here, doctors say they are monitoring the situation closely, reported The Straits Times.
Professor Tan Huay Cheem, director and senior consultant at NUHCS, said COVID-19 should be viewed as impacting the entire vascular system, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and brain, and not just a specific organ system.
'Sorting out the long-lasting symptom of lethargy or breathlessness will entail an assessment of lung, heart and other organ functions at the same time,' The Straits Times quoted Prof Tan as saying.
The programme by the Cardiovascular Research Institute within NUHCS includes a clinical study using known protein biomarkers to identify patients at risk of developing serious cardiovascular complications after they recover from the virus.
There is evidence globally to show that some patients continue to suffer long-term complications.
For instance, a recent Jama Cardiology study of 100 recently recovered COVID-19 patients in Germany found that three-quarters of them suffered from heart inflammation.
The characteristics are impaired ability of the heart to contract, scar formation and enlargement of the heart.
The study, published in late July, noted the possibility of future heart failure as a result of the patients' condition. Calling the German study significant and alarming, Prof Tan said cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging - which was used in the German study - is the most accurate tool in evaluating heart function and health.
Dr Shawn Vasoo, clinical director at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), said the impact on organs outside the lungs can be detected only through further diagnostic testing such as cardiac imaging and laboratory testing. PTI GS CPS