Singapore's COVID-19 cases top 9,000 after 1,111 new cases reported

Singapore's COVID-19 cases top 9,000 after 1,111 new cases reported

On average, fewer new cases or unlinked cases are being detected in the community. But more new cases are seen among work permit holders living outside dormitories.

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A dorm resident is seen walking along the corridor at Cochrane Lodge 2 dormitory on Apr 20, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,111 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Apr 21), taking the national total to 9,125.  

The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its release of preliminary figures. 

Twenty cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents, and there are no imported cases.

A total of 1,050 new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories, while 33 are work permit holders residing outside dormitories, MOH said in its latest update.

"The main increase today continues to be for work permit holders residing in dormitories, where we are picking up many more cases because of extensive testing," it said, adding that most of the workers have a mild illness and none of them requires intensive care.

READ: COVID-19 circuit breaker extended until Jun 1 as Singapore aims to bring down community cases ‘decisively’ - PM Lee

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The number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of 39 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 28 per day in the past week.

For unlinked cases in the community, the number has decreased slightly from an average of 21 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 20 per day in the past week. 

"We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme," said MOH.

More cases are being detected among work permit holders residing outside dormitories; the number of such cases has increased from an average of 14 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 26 per day in the past week.

Of all the new cases, 66 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

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INTERACTIVE: All the COVID-19 clusters at dorms and construction sites

READ: Two weeks and a 70-fold increase: A look into the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore's foreign worker dormitories

THREE NEW CLUSTERS

Three new infection clusters have been identified by the ministry: The Jovell construction site (27 Flora Drive), Pesko Engineering (2 Joo Koon Road) and 5 Sungei Kadut Avenue.

Between Apr 14 and Apr 20, the ministry has uncovered links for 672 previously unlinked cases.

Thirteen previously confirmed cases have now been linked to a new cluster at The Jovell construction site.

The Pesko Engineering cluster is made up of 11 previously confirmed cases as well as 40 of the new cases announced on Tuesday.

Two of the newly confirmed cases are linked to 13 previous cases, forming a new cluster at 5 Sungei Kadut Avenue.

The health ministry also uncovered links between previously confirmed cases and existing clusters.​​​​​​​

Topping the list is S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, which has 166 additional cases linked to it, taking its total to 2,143.

Sungei Tengah Lodge added 89 more cases to its cluster, which now has a total of 629 confirmed cases.

Fifty-nine more cases are linked to the cluster at Tuas View Dormitory, bringing its total to 519 confirmed cases.

MOH added that 39 more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 839 have fully recovered from the infection.

Of the 3,593 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving, while 27 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 4,682 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. 

The number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 11.

A summary of the cases is provided on the ministry's website.

A total of 19 foreign worker dormitories have been gazetted as isolation areas, following a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases among foreign workers in Singapore.

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MOH on Monday said that it was "picking up many more cases" because of extensive testing

"These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive."

Most of them have a mild illness and are being monitored in community isolation facilities or general wards. None are in the intensive care unit, MOH added. 

CIRCUIT BREAKER PERIOD EXTENDED

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Tuesday that Singapore will extend its circuit breaker period by four weeks to Jun 1, while implementing tighter measures to stem the spread of COVID-1.

More workplaces will be closed, the list of what was considered essential services has been tightened, and there will be additional entry restrictions at four popular markets based on the last digit of patrons' identification card numbers.

"These tighter measures will be in place minimally for a two-week period from Apr 21, 2020 until May 4, 2020 (inclusive)," said MOH in a media release. 

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Source: CNA/zl/jt

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