SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 169 new COVID-19 infections as of noon on Friday (Jul 3), including 11 cases in the community and three imported cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
This brings the total number of cases in the country to 44,479.
Among the new community cases were one Singaporean, two permanent residents, three work pass holders and five work permit holders.
Two Singaporeans and a permanent resident who returned to Singapore from India on Jun 21 formed the three new imported cases.
They were placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore and were taken to isolation facilities to begin their 14-day notice. They were asymptomatic when they arrived and were tested while serving their stay-home notices.
A total of 155 of the new cases reported on Friday were work permit holders living in foreign worker dormitories, MOH added. No new clusters were identified.
Of the 11 community cases, nine are linked to previous cases or clusters, while two are currently unlinked.
Six of the linked cases had been quarantined after being identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases. They were tested during quarantine to verify their status.
The other three cases were asymptomatic and were detected as part of the ministry's proactive screening of individuals working at dormitories or in essential services.
Of the nine community cases, four were likely past infections as their serological tests came back positive. The other test results are pending.
Of the two unlinked cases, one was asymptomatic and was swabbed as he works in essential services.
Epidemiological investigations were ongoing for the remaining case, who was tested under the ministry's enhanced community testing after being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection.
The number of new cases in the community has increased, from an average of five per day in the week before, to an average of nine per day in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week.
"We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme," MOH said.
THREE NEW PLACES ADDED
Three new public places were added to a list of locations visited by confirmed cases during their infectious period: SAFRA Tampines, Kamala Restaurant on Buffalo Road and Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall.
The full list is as follows:
Those who had been identified as close contacts of confirmed cases would have been notified by MOH.
As a precautionary measure, those who had been at these locations during the specified timings should monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit, the health ministry added.
"They should see a doctor promptly if they develop symptoms of acute respiratory infection (such as cough, sore throat and runny nose), as well as fever and loss of taste or smell, and inform the doctor of their exposure history.
"There is no need to avoid places where confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been," added MOH.
The National Environment Agency will also engage the management of affected premises to provide guidance on cleaning and disinfection.
340 MORE DISCHARGED
The ministry said 340 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospital or released from community isolation facilities.
In all, 39,769 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.
There are currently 223 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, MOH said, and 1 is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 4,461 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.
Twenty-six people have died from complications due to the coronavirus.
MOH said on Thursday that it placed 58 households living at Block 111 Tampines Street 11 under active phone surveillance and is facilitating COVID-19 testing for them and their visitors.
"This is a precautionary measure after MOH had detected nine confirmed cases from two households residing at the block. As these households and visitors are not close contacts of the confirmed cases, they are assessed to have a low risk of being infected," the health ministry added.
Of the 85 tests that have been completed so far, all the results have come back negative for COVID-19, the ministry said.
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Singapore is currently in Phase 2 of its reopening after a "circuit breaker" period of almost two months to curb the spread of COVID-19.
As more activities resume, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday said the increase in the average number of new COVID-19 cases in the community per day is “not unexpected”.
“This is not unexpected as more activities resume and the number of interactions increases. A similar trend can be observed in many other countries that have exited from lockdowns and restrictions."
With Singapore in Phase 2, the risk of transmission increases if a person who turns out to have COVID-19 does not see a doctor immediately and goes out to work or to have a meal, added Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19.