SINGAPORE: Eight new cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (Feb 13), all linked to previous cases.
"Further epidemiological investigations and contact tracing have uncovered links between previously announced and new cases," MOH said in a press release. This brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 58.
Five of the new cases are linked to the Grace Assembly of God cluster, while two are linked to the cluster at Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site.
One of the new cases is a family member of a DBS employee, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.
Contact tracing is under way for the other seven locally transmitted cases to establish any links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China.
FIVE NEW CASES LINKED TO CHURCH
Cases 51, 53, 54, 57 and 58 are all linked to the cluster associated with the Grace Assembly of God churches, where there have been two previously confirmed cases (48 and 49).
The five new cases have no recent travel history to China.
Case 51 is a 48-year-old Singaporean man who developed symptoms on Feb 4 and sought treatment at a GP clinic on Feb 5 and Feb 10.
He went to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) on Feb 11 and was tested positive for the coronavirus a day later.
Prior to hospital admission, he went to work at the Tanglin and Bukit Batok branches of the church. He stays at Bishan St 13.
Case 53 is a 54-year-old Singaporean man who reported symptoms on Feb 10 and went to NCID two days later.
He was tested positive for the coronavirus on the same day.
Prior to being admitted to hospital, he mostly stayed at home at Hillview Avenue, MOH said. He works at the National University of Singapore but had not interacted with students and colleagues after the onset of symptoms.
CASES 54, 57 and 58
A 54-year-old Singaporean woman (Case 54), a 26-year-old Singaporean man (Case 57) and a 55-year-old Singaporean man (Case 58) are all linked to the cluster at the churches.
They were confirmed to have the coronavirus on Thursday morning and are warded in separate isolation rooms at NCID.
No more information was given about their movements prior to hospital admission.
TWO NEW CASES LINKED TO CONSTRUCTION SITE
Two of the new patients – cases 52 and 56 – are linked to the cluster at Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site, where there have been two previously confirmed cases.
Both new cases have no recent travel history to China.
Case 52 is a 37-year-old Bangladesh national who is a Singapore work pass holder.
He reported the onset of symptoms on Feb 7 and was identified as a close contact to cases 42 and 47, who worked at the construction site.
On Feb 11, he was taken by ambulance to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he tested positive for the coronavirus a day later.
Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work at the construction site. He reported he had mostly stayed at his rental apartment in Campbell Lane since the onset of symptoms.
Case 56 is a 30-year-old Bangladesh national who was confirmed to have the COVID-19 infection on Thursday morning.
He is currently warded at NCID. No other information about his movements prior to hospital admission has been announced.
DBS EMPLOYEE AND FAMILY MEMBER
One of the new cases, case 55, is a 30-year-old Singaporean with no recent travel history to China. He is a family member of case 50, a DBS employee who tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.
On Thursday, case 55 was tested positive for the infection and is currently warded at NCID.
MOH provided more information on Thursday about the DBS employee.
Case 50 is a 62-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to China. He had reported symptoms on Feb 7 and went to two GP clinics on Feb 7, Feb 10 and Feb 11.
He was admitted to NCID on Feb 11 and tested positive for the infection on Feb 12.
Prior to hospital admission, he had gone to work at DBS Asia Central at Marina Bay Financial Centre in 12 Marina Boulevard. He had also stayed at his home in Mei Hwan Drive other than to seek medical treatment.
On Thursday, MOH said case 44 – a Certis Cisco officer who served quarantine orders on two people from Wuhan - was "a contact of cases 13 and 26".
Case 13 was a 73-year-old woman from Wuhan who had arrived in on Jan 21, the same day as her daughter, who was case 26.
It is unclear if the Certis Cisco officer served quarantine orders on cases 13 and 26.
Besides the clusters linked to Grace Assembly of God and the Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site, MOH has identified three other clusters and possible clusters.
Three of the previous cases - cases 30, 36 and 39 - are linked to a private business meeting at Grand Hyatt Singapore from Jan 20 to Jan 22. The meeting is also linked to several other cases in Malaysia, South Korean and Britian.
A possible cluster of five cases - cases 8, 9, 31, 33 and 38 - is linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore at 146B Paya Lebar Road.
Nine of the confirmed cases - case 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34 and 40 - are linked to the cluster associated with a shop named Yong Thai Hang in 24 Cavan Road.
As of Thursday, 15 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospital.
Seven are in critical condition in the intensive care unit – down from eight cases on Wednesday.
Of the 43 confirmed cases still in hospital, most are stable or improving, MOH said.
Contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing, the ministry added. As of noon on Thursday, 1,278 close contacts have been identified.
Of the 1,161 who are in Singapore, 1,144 have been contacted and are isolated or quarantined. Efforts are ongoing to get in touch with the remaining 17 close contacts.
A total of 711 of the suspect cases have tested negative for the coronavirus, with test results for the remaining 82 pending.
The figures came as its central province of Hubei reported nearly 15,000 new cases after authorities changed their threshold for diagnosing the virus.
Officials said lung imaging on suspected cases is now considered sufficient to diagnose, instead of standard nucleic tests.