SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 793 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (May 15), taking the country's total to 26,891.
A total of 1,275 more patients have also been discharged - a new daily high. In all, 7,248 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update that 791 of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.
MOH said it continues to pick up many more cases among work permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises.
The ministry also reported one new case among work permit holders residing outside dormitories. MOH said such cases have decreased from an average of six cases per day in the week before to an average of two per day in the past week.
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The only new community case is a 53-year-old Singaporean man, who reported onset of symptoms on Tuesday and tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. He is currently an unlinked case.
"The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of eight cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week.
"The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of three cases per day in the week before, to an average of one per day in the past week," the ministry said.
Of the new cases, 99 per cent are linked to known clusters while the rest are pending contact tracing. Further details can be found in MOH's daily situation report.
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Five new clusters have been identified: 80 Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace, 48 Toh Guan Road East, 55 Tuas South Avenue 1, 119 Tuas South View Walk and 33 Tuas View Walk 1.
MOH said it has also been monitoring existing clusters for any further transmission.
As there have been no more cases linked to McDonald’s and the renovation sites at the National University Hospital (5 Lower Kent Ridge Road) for the past two incubation periods, the clusters have now been closed.
There are currently 1,124 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving while 18 are in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another 18,498 patients are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19. In all, 21 have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
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On Thursday, a leading infectious diseases specialist warned that COVID-19 might be "with us for a long time".
But Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), also said the coronavirus can be contained.
Referring to the current “circuit breaker” as a “hammer”, Prof Leo said a system following the lifting of restrictions would need to be developed in which containment of the virus would essentially follow the “dance steps” of the virus.
Echoing an assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus might never go away, Prof Leo said that with the suppression of the virus, Singapore can reduce the rate of infection and the death toll while buying time until vaccines become available.