Singapore reports 886 COVID-19 cases from foreign workers' dormitories

Gurdip Singh

Singapore, Apr 26 (PTI) Coronavirus cases in Singapore crossed the 13,000-mark on Sunday after 931 positive cases, including among 886 foreign workers living in packed dormitories, were confirmed.

Another 25 were work permit holders living outside the dormitories, said the Health Ministry on Sunday. There were also two imported cases reported today.

Both are Singaporeans who have been placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore on Apr 10, said the ministry.

Only 13 cases were from the local community, Singapore citizens and permanent residents (foreigners), with another five on work passes (foreigners), said the Ministry.

The Sunday's cases raised the total number to 13,624.

Twenty-two of the 1,311 cases still in hospital are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Most are stable or their condition is improving, the ministry said. Fifty-eight people were discharged following recovery.

In all, 1,060 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

Meanwhile, 11,241 cases are currently isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are cases that have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19, Channel News Asia reported citing the ministry data.

Singapore is now in an extended 'circuit breaker' period to stem the spread of COVID-19. The period was extended to June 1, 2020 from the first set to end on May 4.

It will take at least a week of sustained decline in local community cases, which excludes migrant workers, before Singapore can say that it has turned the corner, reported The Straits Times citing experts.

The latest numbers on Sunday reined in any optimism that Singapore may be beginning to see some early signs of the infection curve flattening.

On Saturday, nine community cases were confirmed, marking the first time numbers have dropped to the single digits this month.

Numbers at dormitories also dropped to 597, down from about an average of a thousand daily in the five days before.

Experts told The Straits Times that the slide in community cases needs to be sustained until at least the first week of May, and even then, the clusters at dormitories may remain a challenge.

Foreign workers' dormitories have been locked down as the government struggles to curb the second wave of the COVID-19.

Earlier, reported Channel News Asia cited experts as saying that five weeks from now if the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the community falls to single digits and the situation in the foreign worker dormitories improves, “circuit breaker” measures in Singapore may ease gradually. PTI GS IND IND IND