42 new imported COVID-19 cases in Singapore, highest in more than 9 months

42 new imported COVID-19 cases in Singapore, highest in more than 9 months

People in masks at Changi Airport 6
People in protective face masks walk at Changi Airport Terminal 3. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 42 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Sunday (Jan 10), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

All the cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

This is the highest number of imported infections reported in Singapore since Mar 23 last year.

There were no locally transmitted cases.

Of the new cases, 40 were asymptomatic.

Two of the imported cases were Singaporeans, while another two were permanent residents who had arrived from Malaysia and India.

The two Singaporeans, a 63-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman, are linked to each other. Both displayed symptoms - starting Jan 4 for the man and Jan 8 for the woman.

One permanent resident and a long-term visa holder who travelled from India were also contacts of a previously confirmed case, a permanent resident known as Case 59068.

Six cases were dependant's pass holders who arrived from Austria, India, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates, while four were work pass holders from the Philippines and India.

Five foreign domestic workers were among the 24 cases involving work permit holders from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

An 11-year-old boy, a short-term visit pass holder, had arrived from India to visit his parent - a permanent resident - was among today's new cases.

Two special pass holders, who are sea crew members, had arrived onboard separate vessels from Myanmar and Indonesia. Both cases did not disembark and were taken to the hospital when they tested positive for the virus.

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MOH said that overall the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 10 cases in the week before to eight cases in the past week. 

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from four in the week before to five infections in the past week, the ministry added.

Another 25 cases were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of recoveries to 58,636.

There are 60 confirmed COVID-19 cases still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving. One case is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 182 cases, those with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still testing positive for the virus, remain isolated and cared for at community care facilities.

As of Sunday, Singapore reported a total of 58,907 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from complications due to COVID-19 infection. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as Singapore rolled out vaccinations for healthcare workers.

Urging Singaporeans to get inoculated when they can, Mr Lee said there are "ample vaccines coming in" as Singapore ordered the vaccines early.

"It will make us safer, and it will make you and your loved ones safer. So please take it when you can," he said.

Individuals who choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine may need to go through "more frequent testing", said co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong on Thursday.

"It may well be that travellers coming back need not serve SHN (stay-home notice) or will serve a shorter SHN. So those will be the benefits of getting a vaccination besides the fact that you are protecting yourself and your loved ones," Mr Wong told CNA in an interview.

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Source: CNA/dv(ta)