Singapore reports 908 new COVID-19 cases in 3-month high; high daily counts as dorms are cleared: MOH

Singapore reports 908 new COVID-19 cases in 3-month high; high daily counts as dorms are cleared: MOH

Blue Stars Dormitory (1)
A man uses his phone at the window inside Blue Stars Dormitory along 3 Kian Teck Lane. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 908 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Wednesday (Aug 5), the highest daily figure recorded since May 1. 

Of the new cases, one was in the community and four were imported cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). This brings the total number of cases in the country to 54,254. 

A total of 903 new cases reported on Wednesday were work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. MOH attributed the high number of cases to the ongoing clearance of dormitories.

"The vast majority are dormitory residents who were tested during their isolation/ quarantine period, even though they are asymptomatic," the health ministry said.

"They are among the final batch of workers being cleared and they come from dormitories with a relatively high prevalence of COVID-19. 

"Hence we expect the daily case counts to be high for the coming days, before tapering down thereafter as the inter-agency task force completes the dormitory clearance."

The ministry added it is "on track" to clear all dorms by Friday, "except for a few standalone blocks in the dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities".

There are about 9,700 workers in these quarantine facilities presently.

"They will have to serve out their 14-day isolation periods, and be subject to an exit test before they are able to resume work," MOH added.

On Wednesday, another 581 COVID-19 cases were linked to the cluster at the Acacia Lodge dormitory, which now has 1,586 cases.

MOH also reported that 163 additional cases were linked to the cluster at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory, which now has 1,133 confirmed cases. 

"Further epidemiological investigations and contact tracing have uncovered links between previously announced and new cases," said the ministry. The full list is on MOH's website here

singapore COVID-19 cases infographic aug 5

THREE CHILDREN AMONG IMPORTED CASES

Three children were among the four imported cases reported on Wednesday. All four had arrived from India on Jul 22 and were placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore.

The three children - aged one, four and six years old - are dependant's pass holders. 

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder whose application to enter Singapore was approved as she is an elderly person whose family are Singapore residents, said MOH.

They were all tested while serving their stay-home notices.

ONE COMMUNITY CASE

In its preliminary update on Wednesday afternoon, MOH said there were four community infections.

This was changed to one community case in the health ministry's update on Wednesday night because three cases were re-classified following contact tracing.

The sole community infection was a work permit holder who is an unlinked case.

He was identified during the screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dormitories, even though he was asymptomatic, MOH said. 

"To determine if this is a current or past infection, we also conducted a serological test for him, and the result has come back positive, which indicates likely past infection," the health ministry said, adding that epidemiological investigations of the case are in progress.

"In the meantime, all the identified close contacts have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases."

Two new locations - IMM and a POPULAR bookstore in Jurong Point - were added on Wednesday to the list of places visited by COVID-19 cases in the community during their infectious period.

UPDATED MAP: All the places that COVID-19 community cases visited while they were infectious

READ: IMM and Popular bookstore at Jurong Point visited by COVID-19 cases while infectious

List of locations visited by active COVID-19 cases



The cluster at Micron Semiconductor Asia at 1 North Coast Drive was declared closed after no more cases were linked to it for the past 28 days, said MOH.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of four cases per day in the week before, to an average of two per day in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of one per day in the past week.

ONE CLUSTER CLOSED, 314 MORE PATIENTS DISCHARGED

A total of 314 more COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, the ministry said. 

In all, 47,768 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.

There are currently 126 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and one is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

A total of 6,333 patients are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are people who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19. 

Twenty-seven people have died from complications due to COVID-19.

READ: Foreign worker dormitory linked to more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases among 9 more clusters closed

READ: Sri Lankan man tested positive for COVID-19 while awaiting repatriation after 4-week sentence for overstaying

On Tuesday, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Singapore Prison Service (SPS) provided an update on a recent community case - a Sri Lankan man, referred to as a prison inmate by MOH on Monday.

ICA and SPS told CNA the 26-year-old man is awaiting repatriation after serving his sentence for overstaying in Singapore. He was arrested on Jun 30, remanded the Changi Prison Complex the following day and sentenced on Jul 6 to four weeks in jail.

At the end of his sentence, he was released into ICA’s custody on Jul 27 for repatriation to Sri Lanka. 

As there were no flights available, the man was returned to SPS’ custody on Jul 30 to await repatriation and underwent the mandatory 14-day cohort segregation and swab tests again.

He tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug 2. 

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Source: CNA/kv

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