Singapore, Oct 16 (PTI) Singapore reported nine COVID-19 cases on Friday, eight of which were imported infections.
Now, the city-state's caseload stands at 57,901, with 28 deaths.
The single local case reported on Friday was from the foreign workers' dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There was no case from the community here.
The eight imported cases were placed on stay-home notices (SHN). The two imported cases, reported on Thursday, returned from the United States and Indonesia. Both patients are placed on SNH.
Thirty-six COVID-19 patients were in hospital while 64 were recuperating in community facilities as of Thursday. With 12 patients discharged on Thursday, 57,764 people have recovered from the disease.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of 1 case per day in the week before, to an average of fewer than 1 per day in the past week, said the MOH.
Meanwhile, Singapore's first COVID-19 specific T-cell clinical trial is ready to recruit its first patients, reported The Straits Times.
Conducted by a research team from Singapore's KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), this human trial of a potential coronavirus treatment received approval from the Health Sciences Authority in July.
The trial is targeting patients with severe COVID-19 disease as well as those at risk of developing severe disease. There are five hospitals where patients can receive this T-cell treatment.
Patients who develop severe COVID-19 disease were found to have low levels of T-cells, which are a type of white blood cells that help the body fight infections.
Only patients who have recovered from the coronavirus have COVID-19 specific T-cells.
Called 'COVID-19 memory T cells', they are ready to multiply in response to reinfections by Sars-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. The immune response during reinfection will be quicker and more potent.
For this study, COVID-19 specific T-cells were harvested from blood donated by six recovered COVID-19 patients.
Around 350ml to 450ml of blood was collected from the first batch of donors in April.
The T-cells harvested from this blood, sufficient to treat 40 patients, are currently stored in a cell bank.
Patients with severe COVID-19 will be treated with the T-cells through intravenous channels. Infected patients at risk of developing severe diseases -- persons above the age of 65 or obese individuals -- will be treated pre-emptively.
The two main objectives of the trial are to prove that the T-cells are safe to use, and that this treatment method is effective. For instance, to measure the efficacy of this trial, the clinical response in terms of time taken to recover from a COVID-19 infection would be measured.
Patients will also be monitored for six months to a year to look out for side-effects and to ensure that the trial is safe, according to The Straits Times report. PTI GS IND