SINGAPORE: Sixteen new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore on Tuesday (Dec 15), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
One case was reported in a foreign workers’ dormitory.
The case is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test in preparation for his return to China.
The man's previous tests from rostered routine testing were negative. However, his serological test came back positive, which indicates likely past infection.
"As a precautionary measure, all his close contacts at the dormitory and his workplace have been placed on quarantine," said MOH.
THREE SINGAPOREANS AMONG IMPORTED CASES
The remaining 15 cases were imported and all were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore, said MOH.
Three Singaporeans were among the 15 imported cases and had returned from India, the US and the UK.
One work pass holder from Brazil and five work permit holders from India and Indonesia were also among the imported cases reported.
Another two were a dependant's pass holder from Spain and a student's pass holder who arrived from India.
The remaining four cases were short-term visit pass holders. Of these, two were from Indonesia and India and are family members of Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents, said the ministry.
One case arrived from Russia to participate in a mixed martial arts sporting event and the remaining case arrived from Australia on an Air Travel Pass.
Both cases were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore and were isolated while waiting for their test results. They were then taken to the hospital when the tests came back positive.
Twenty-three more cases were discharged, bringing the total number who have fully recovered from the infection and been discharged to 58,233.
There are 25 cases currently in hospital. Most are stable or improving, with none in the intensive care unit.
A total of 54 cases 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.
As of Tuesday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,341 COVID-19 cases.
Singapore said on Tuesday it will launch a segregated travel lane for business, official and "high economic value" visitors from all countries on short-term stays.
Applications for the Connect@Singapore initiative will open in mid-January and the first travellers are expected to arrive from the second half of the month, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Travellers will be housed in dedicated facilities and will have to undergo regular COVID-19 tests. They are also not allowed to mingle with other travellers or locals, though they can conduct meetings with safe management measures in place.
On Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore will begin Phase 3 of its reopening on Dec 28, with social gatherings of up to eight people allowed in public, up from five currently. Households can also receive up to eight visitors.
He also announced that the first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive in Singapore by the end of the month, and other COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months.
Moderna on Tuesday confirmed it has concluded an agreement with MOH to supply mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine, to Singapore.
Everyone in Singapore who wants a vaccination should be able to get one by the end of next year and it will be free for all Singaporeans as well as long-term residents in the country, said Mr Lee.