SINGAPORE: Five new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore on Monday (Dec 28), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Of the new cases, one is in the community, the first since Dec 21.
The community case is a 48-year-old Singaporean man, Singapore Airlines cabin crew member who also works part-time as private hire car driver with Grab.
The case is currently unlinked and was detected through proactive testing arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore of air crew who had returned from overseas flights, said MOH.
Four of the new cases were imported. All four cases were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore.
Three of the imported cases were Singaporeans who returned from India, Myanmar and the UK.
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The remaining case is a dependant's pass holder who arrived from India.
All four cases were tested while serving their stay-home notice or under isolation.
Sixteen more cases were discharged, bringing the total number who have fully recovered from the infection and been discharged to 58,386.
There are 35 cases currently in hospital. Most are stable or improving, with none in the intensive care unit.
A total of 79 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.
Another venue was added to the list of public places visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period - YuCun Claypot Curry Fish Head at Upper Paya Lebar Road.
SINGAPORE ENTERS PHASE 3
Singapore entered Phase 3 of its reopening on Monday. Social gatherings of up to eight people are now allowed in public, up from the previous five. Similarly, households can receive up to eight visitors.
Worship services are now allowed to have up to 250 people, and capacity limits in public places such as malls and attractions have been increased as well.
The public should continue to comply with existing measures and not let its guard down, said co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong on Monday.
Around the world, experts are warning of a post-seasonal surge in cases, he said.
"We must not allow that to happen here. The new and more infectious strain from the UK also signals the need for continued vigilance," said Mr Wong.
HEALTHCARE WORKERS TO RECEIVE COVID-19 VACCINE FROM DEC 30
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Monday thanked healthcare workers for playing a pivotal role in the nation's fight against COVID-19.
"That Singapore's COVID-19 fatality rate is amongst the lowest in the world is by no means a stroke of luck. It is a testament of your hard work, perseverance and sacrifice," he said.
However, the minister cautioned that "vaccination is not a silver bullet", adding "it will be some time before the storm will pass".
The Government will begin vaccinating healthcare workers from Dec 30, beginning with those at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), said MOH on Sunday. Vaccinations will subsequently be rolled out to more healthcare institutions.
This will be followed by vaccinations for the elderly, starting with those aged 70 years and above, from February.
"Thereafter we will vaccinate other Singaporeans and long-term residents who are medically eligible for vaccination. More details will be shared in due course," said MOH.
The vaccine will be free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, including long-term work permit holders.
As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,529 COVID-19 cases.