Singapore's COVID-19 cases cross 12,000 after 897 more confirmed; 9 new clusters identified

Singapore's COVID-19 cases cross 12,000 after 897 more confirmed; 9 new clusters identified

Changi Lodge 2 (4)
Foreign workers at Changi Lodge 2 on Apr 22, 2020. The dorm has been gazetted as an isolation area to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore confirmed 897 new cases of COVID-19 as of noon on Friday (Apr 24), taking the national total to 12,075.

Nine new clusters were also identified, including Strand Hotel and Natureland East Coast, a wellness spa.

The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its preliminary release of figures.

Thirteen of the cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents, and 12 were work pass holders. 

A total of 853 of Friday's cases were work permit holders residing in dormitories, MOH confirmed in a later update. 

Another 19 were work permit holders staying outside of dormitories.

READ: More than 400 people turned away on first day of enforced restricted entry at 4 wet markets - NEA

Of the new cases, 68 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

READ: Migrant worker with COVID-19 dies from injuries after being found motionless at staircase landing in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

MOH COVID-19 gfx Singapore Apr 24

A total of 38 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In total, 956 have fully recovered from the infection in Singapore.

There are currently 1,229 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 24 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

The number of patients who are isolated and cared for at community facilities stands at 9,878. 

"These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19," MOH said.

INTERACTIVE: All the COVID-19 clusters at dorms and construction sites

STRAND HOTEL AMONG 9 NEW CLUSTERS

Between Apr 17 and Apr 23, MOH uncovered links for 1,132 previously unlinked cases.

One of the nine new clusters identified by the ministry on Friday was Strand Hotel at 25 Bencoolen Street, where healthcare workers in PPE were seen by CNA on Friday afternoon.

The cluster is made up of five people who are among the new cases.

Strand Hotel Apr 24 COVID-19 (5)
Healthcare workers arrive at Strand Hotel on Bencoolen Street, Apr 24, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Strand Hotel Apr 24 COVID-19 (7)
Healthcare workers are seen walking out of Strand Hotel on Bencoolen Street, Apr 24, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

Another cluster involves the East Coast outlet of wellness spa Natureland. 

Responding to CNA's queries, outlet manager Karen Shum said it had been screening its customers for fever and other symptoms of COVID-19 since February, but found none of them had fever or other associated symptoms. 

However, one of its customers tested positive for the coronavirus on Apr 1 after visiting the East Coast outlet on Mar 19. 

On Mar 30, a Natureland employee was "immediately" stopped from working after feeling unwell. Between Apr 9 and Apr 21, a total of five therapists at the East Coast outlet tested positive for COVID-19, said Ms Shum, adding that two of them were discharged from hospital on Apr 20 and Apr 22.

"All our staff began a 14-day quarantine on Apr 10," said Ms Shum. 

The East Coast outlet went through a "deep cleaning" by a disinfecting company on Apr 3 and will undergo another round of disinfection by end of May before it reopens on Jun 2, she added. 

A new cluster has also formed at Alaunia Lodge (Admiralty Road West), comprising 41 of the earlier confirmed cases.

One of the newly confirmed cases is linked to eight previous cases to form a new cluster at SSKBJV Dormitory (31A Tanah Merah Coast Road).

At Westlite Juniper (23 Mandai Estate), a new cluster has been linked to 23 of the earlier confirmed cases.

Six of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to a new cluster at Natureland East Coast (907 East Coast Road).

Six of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to a new cluster at 112 Neythal Road.

MOH also identifed a new cluster at 10 Shaw Road, linking 11 of the newly confirmed cases to 11 previous cases.

Four of the newly confirmed cases are linked to nine previous cases to form a new cluster at 2 Sungei Kadut Avenue.

One of the newly confirmed cases is linked to 11 previous cases to form a new cluster at 11 Tuas Avenue 10.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS CONTRACT COVID-19

Two more healthcare workers were confirmed to have COVID-19 on Friday.

One of these was a 21-year-old healthcare assistant - Case 11870 - at All Saints Home (Hougang) at 5 Poh Huat Road.

She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Thursday and is now in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

She was last at work on Apr 21, said the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) in a statement.

The home she works at has disinfected the affected areas, and contact tracing is ongoing, said the agency.

Another patient, Case 11580, is a 43-year-old Singaporean nurse at Bukit Merah Polyclinic. She had not gone to work since the onset of her symptoms, said MOH.

The woman has no recent travel history to affected countries and regions, added the ministry.

She reported the onset of symptoms on Apr 20, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 23. She is warded at NCID.

Four more foreign worker dormitories were gazetted as isolation areas on Friday: 21B Senoko Loop, CDPL Tuas Dormitory, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory 2 and Tuas South Dormitory. A total of 25 dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas.

READ: Dorm operator who locked migrant workers in room given ‘stern warning’ by MOM; police investigating

As of Thursday, the cluster at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol remained the biggest with more than 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The next biggest cluster was at Sungei Tengah Lodge. 

Twelve people in Singapore have died due to COVID-19. 

A 46-year-old Indian national with COVID-19 was found motionless at a staircase landing in Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Thursday morning.

His death was due to "multiple injuries consistent with those resulting from a fall from height, and was not due to complications from COVID-19 infection", said MOH.

He is referred to as case 8190. Investigations into his death are ongoing.

Singapore is more than two weeks into its "circuit breaker" period, a move by the Government to break the cycle of transmission of COVID-19. The period was initially scheduled to end on May 4, but was extended to Jun 1. 

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: CNA/hs

Bookmark