SINGAPORE: Three new cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Singapore, all with no recent travel history to China, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Sunday (Feb 9).
This takes the total number of cases in Singapore to 43. Of these, six are in critical condition in intensive care.
Four more people - cases 10, 13, 22 and 26 - were discharged from hospital on Sunday, said the ministry, meaning that six people in total have fully recovered from the infection.
The three new cases include a 71-year-old Singaporean man, a 39-year-old man from Bangladesh and a 54-year-old Singaporean man.
All three sought medical treatment more than once before being admitted to hospital, according to the health ministry.
A total of 22 coronavirus cases in Singapore have resulted from local transmission.
Of these, 15 have been found to have links with three coronavirus clusters here, said the ministry.
Contact tracing is underway for the other seven, including the three confirmed today "to establish if they are linked to previous cases or persons with travel history to mainland China", it said.
Details of the new cases are as follows:
Case 41 is a 71-year-old male Singapore citizen who lives at Upper Serangoon Road. He reported symptoms on Feb 1 and visited a general practitioner clinic that day, and again on Feb 5.
He then sought treatment at Hougang Polyclinic on Feb 6 and at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s emergency department on Feb 7, where he was immediately isolated.
He was confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on Feb 8, and is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
Before being admitted to hospital, he had visited Paya Lebar Methodist Church and attended a gathering at Braddell Heights Residents’ Committee (RC).
He had also picked up his grandchild outside Pat's Schoolhouse Kovan.
Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng, who represents Braddell Heights in Marine Parade GRC, told CNA that the event at Braddell Heights RC attended by the 71-year-old was a Chinese New Year lunch held last weekend. He did not specify the exact date.
About 100 people were in attendance, said Mr Seah, adding that he has not been in touch with the patient's family yet as he had just been notified of the case.
Case 42 is a 39-year-old work pass holder from Bangladesh.
He reported onset of symptoms on Feb 1 and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Feb 3, and then at Changi General Hospital on Feb 5.
He went for a follow-up appointment at Bedok Polyclinic on Feb 7 and was then admitted to the intensive care unit at Changi General Hospital.
Subsequent test results confirmed the novel coronavirus infection on Feb 8, and he was transferred to NCID, where he is currently warded in an isolation room.
Before being admitted to hospital he had visited Mustafa Centre and stayed at The Leo dormitory at Kaki Bukit Road.
"The affected unit where the worker was residing has been sealed and we are working with the National Environment Agency in disinfecting it," said a dormitory spokesperson in response to CNA's queries.
The dormitory operator has processes and protocols in place to manage workers coming back from their leave of absence as well as guidelines should quarantine be needed, he said.
The dormitory said it has stepped up cleaning efforts at "high touch point areas such as the entry barriers and the elevators".
It has also started using thermal cameras to scan for fever among returning workers, and workers who are not feeling well will be isolated.
"We have not noticed an increase in cases of the workers falling ill beyond the common cold or flu during this period," the spokesperson added.
The Migrant Workers' Centre said that it is reminding the other workers at the dormitory to monitor their health, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, avoid touching their faces, as well as to put on a mask and seek medical attention immediately if they feel unwell.
Case 43 is a 54-year-old Singaporean man who is currently warded in an isolation room at Sengkang General Hospital.
He was in Malaysia on Jan 26. Four days later on Jan 30 he reported symptoms and went to two general practitioner clinics on Jan 30, Feb 5 and Feb 6.
He then sought treatment at Sengkang General Hospital on Feb 6 and was warded the next day.
He was confirmed to have the novel coronavirus on Feb 8.
Before being admitted to hospital, the man had stayed at home except for trips to seek medical treatment and one trip to work at Resorts World Sentosa. He lives at Fernvale Close.
In response to CNA's queries, Resorts World Sentosa confirmed the man was one of its employees. He works as a maintenance engineer and "has no interaction with guests", said a spokesperson.
Resorts World Sentosa has carried out deep cleaning and thoroughly disinfected "all areas and touchpoints" the man had come into contact with, he said.
Employees with whom the man interacted have been told to go on 14 days' leave of absence and closely monitor their health, including taking their temperatures twice a day.
"We remain in touch with these employees and stay closely updated of their health conditions," added the spokesperson.
As of Feb 9 noon, 516 of the suspected cases have tested negative for the novel coronavirus. Test results for a remaining 98 cases are pending.
A total of 989 close contacts have been identified. Of the 892 who are still in Singapore, 845 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated. Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining 47 close contacts, said MOH.
Contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing, it said.
Authorities on Friday raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to Orange, following four confirmed cases without any links to previous cases or travel history to China.
Two patients with previously unknown transmissions were later linked to a possible cluster associated with The Life Church and Missions Singapore, which includes two imported cases of Chinese nationals who are a married couple.
The connection was made by MOH in an update on Saturday as it announced seven new cases, including a taxi driver and a private-hire driver whose transmissions were unknown.
Two other clusters have also been identified: One related to health products shop Yong Thai Hang in Cavan Road and another linked to a business conference held at Grand Hyatt Singapore.
Reports of people stocking up on groceries and personal hygiene items have surfaced since Friday's DORSCON Orange announcement.
On Sunday, some shopkeepers and residents told ministers on a walkabout in Jurong West that a "sense of normalcy" had returned.
NTUC FairPrice on the same day announced that every customer will only be allowed to buy four packs of paper products, two bags of rice and four bundle packs of instant noodles. A S$50 limit for vegetables also remained in place.
The number of confirmed infections in China has reached more than 37,000 nationwide with more than 800 deaths reported as of Sunday.
The World Health Organization believes the number of new cases in China is "stabilising". But while it is "good news", the UN health agency cautioned that it was too early to make any predictions about whether the virus might have peaked.
Additional reporting by Ang Hwee Min.