SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 657 new cases of COVID-19 as of noon on Sunday (May 3), taking the country's total to 18,205.
"The number of cases amongst migrant workers has been fluctuating in recent days due to clearance of backlogged cases by one laboratory," said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update of preliminary figures.
The ministry said it is working with the laboratory to stabilise its operations.
MOH also reported another death on Sunday - Case 14744 - an 86-year-old Singaporean woman.
She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 27, and had a history of diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia, said MOH in a later update.
"Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has reached out to her family and is extending assistance to them."
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MOH also gave an update on a 47-year-old Bangladeshi man, whose death was reported on Saturday.
The Bangladeshi, Case 17410, was confirmed to have COVID-19 after his death on May 1. MOH said the cause of his death was ischaemic heart disease.
One case from the public health sector was announced on Sunday - a 34-year-old Singaporean woman.
She is employed as a nurse by the Health Promotion Board and was deployed to the community care facility at Singapore Expo, said MOH. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on May 2, but had not gone to work since the onset of symptoms.
Out of the new cases, 626 are work permit holders residing in dormitories, 18 are work permit holders living outside dormitories, three are work pass holders, and 10 are Singaporeans or permanent residents.
"The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 21 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 11 per day in the past week," said MOH.
"The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of 13 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 5 per day in the past week," added the ministry.
Six new clusters have also been identified. They are: NCS Hub at Ang Mo Kio, 16 Fan Yoong Road, 15 Gul Way, 23 Sungei Kadut Street 2, 9A Tech Park Crescent, and 64 Woodlands Industrial Park E9.
The ministry added that the Maxwell MRT station cluster has been closed as there have been no more cases linked to it for the past two incubation periods.
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61 MORE CASES DISCHARGED
A total of 61 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, said MOH. In all, 1,408 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, the ministry added.
"There are currently 1,630 confirmed cases who are still in hospital.
"Of these, most are stable or improving, and 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 15,149 are isolated and cared for at community facilities," added MOH.
FOURTH WEEK OF CIRCUIT BREAKER
Singapore is into its fourth week of a "circuit breaker" period to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Saturday, the multi-ministry task force dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore announced the easing of some restrictions, with selected services and businesses allowed to resume this month.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can begin to offer acupuncture services for pain management from May 5.
Home-based food businesses, selected food retail outlets and food manufacturing firms can resume operations from May 12.
Some students will be allowed to return to school from May 19 for face-to-face lessons. These will include those who are taking national exams or those in need of additional help.
"While the number of community cases has come down, we are not out of the woods yet. New clusters may form if we let our guards down," said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at a press conference on Saturday.
Singapore must press on with efforts to keep its numbers low, and the rest of the circuit breaker measures will remain in force until Jun 1, he said.