SINGAPORE: The number of new COVID-19 cases among Singaporeans or permanent residents hit its highest level in more than three weeks on Thursday (May 21).
Thirteen Singaporeans are among the 14 new COVID-19 community cases reported on Thursday by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Since May 10, the number of new Singaporean or permanent resident cases has stayed below five. Thursday’s figure is also the first time it has gone into double digits since May 8, when 10 new Singaporean or PR cases were reported.
It is also the largest number of Singaporean and permanent resident cases since Apr 27, when there were 14 such patients.
The last time there were no new COVID-19 cases in Singapore among its citizens or permanent residents was on Feb 23, which was also the last time there were no new coronavirus cases reported in the country.
Of the new cases on Thursday, seven were picked up from MOH’s active surveillance and screening of nursing home residents and pre-school staff, while another four are part of a family cluster linked to a dormitory.
THREE PRE-SCHOOL STAFF MEMBERS
The three pre-school staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 had done so under a proactive testing regime before centres reopen after the “circuit breaker” period, said the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
Two of the cases had gone to work after experiencing the onset of symptoms. They worked at My First Skool @ 303 Canberra and PCF Sparkletots Pre-school @ Gambas.
The third did not go to work after the onset of symptoms. MOH did not say where she works.
READ: 3 pre-school employees contract COVID-19, leave of absence issued to 'small group' of children, staff
ECDA said last week that all pre-school and early intervention staff members would undergo a one-time swab test by May 26 in order to reduce the risk of transmission when centres resume full services.
“During this proactive testing of all staff, we would expect some positive cases to be identified,” said ECDA in its media statement on Thursday.
FAMILY LINKED TO DORMITORY CLUSTER
Four of the Singaporean COVID-19 patients announced by MOH on Thursday are family members of a man who had gone to work at Cochrane Lodge II dormitory after the onset of symptoms.
All four are also household contacts of Case 28271, the Singaporean woman who went to work at Bishan MRT station after the onset of symptoms.
That means five household contacts of the woman, an SMRT service ambassador for the Circle Line, have now tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier this week, a 30-year-old man linked to the woman had contracted the disease.
NEW CLUSTER AT NURSING HOME
Four of the Singaporean COVID-19 patients announced on Thursday are residents of Orange Valley Nursing Home at 6 Simei Street 3.
The residents are aged between 72 and 97, and were picked up as a result of active surveillance testing, said MOH.
They are currently currently warded at Changi General Hospital, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) said on Thursday.
Tests are being conducted for residents and employees of all nursing homes, as they are deemed particularly vulnerable to developing severe complications if they contract COVID-19.