Singapore: Fourteen new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Friday (Dec 25).
All of the new cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
No new cases were found in the community and in foreign workers’ dormitories.
POSSIBLE NEW CASE LINKED TO MANDARIN ORCHARD
Among the imported cases was a 47-year-old permanent resident who arrived from the Philippines on Dec 10 and served his stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore.
He was moved to another dedicated facility on Dec 20 when MOH commenced investigations into the 13 previously reported cases who had served stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between Oct 22 and Nov 11.
He was swabbed on Dec 19 and Dec 21, and his test results came back negative for COVID-19 infection.
As a precautionary measure, he was swabbed again on completion of stay-home notice on Dec 24 and went home following the test.
His test result came back positive that night and he was taken to the hospital the next day.
Investigations are ongoing to assess if he could be linked to the 13 cases. His serological test result remained pending, say MOH.
Another imported case, a 21-year-old Singaporean man, arrived from the UK on Dec 7 and served a 14-day stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 21. He was swabbed on Dec 17 and his test result was negative for COVID-19 infection.
He developed a cough on Dec 23 and was tested positive at a hospital on the same day.
His original sample was tested by the National Public Health Laboratory and was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 infection.
However, a second sample taken on Dec 24 came back negative for the virus.
His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection.
"He is therefore likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others," said MOH.
The 14 imported cases also include six Singaporeans and two permanent residents who returned from South Africa, South Korea, UK, US, Philippines, Malaysia and India.
There was also a work pass holder and three work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and India.
The two remaining cases are dependent’s pass holders who arrived from India and US.
There were 20 more COVID-19 cases who were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. A total of 58,352 have fully recovered from the infection.
There are now 31 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, of who most are stable or improving. No COVID-19 patients are being treated in the intensive care unit.
In total 97 are being cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
Singapore has reported 29 deaths so far from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
READ: Travellers entering Singapore from South Korea to serve stay-home notice at dedicated facilities
SOUTH KOREA RESTRICTIONS
All travellers entering Singapore from 11.59pm on Saturday who have travelled to South Korea in the past 14 days will have to serve their stay-home notice at dedicated facilities.
The health ministry announced earlier this year that travellers from South Korea are allowed to serve their 14-day stay-home notice at a suitable place of residence.
The tightening of border measures is due to a "sustained surge" in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, said the ministry.
The new measures will apply to returning Singapore-based travellers under the Singapore-South Korea Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) agreement.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported 58,509 COVID-19 cases.