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632 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking total past 19,000

632 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking total past 19,000

A man holds a mask at Orchard Road, Singapore on Feb 3. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 632 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (May 5), taking the country's total to 19,410. 

A total of 605 of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update of preliminary figures. 

MOH said it continues to pick up many more cases among work permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises.

Fifteen other cases are work permit holders residing outside dormitories. MOH said the number of such cases has decreased, from an average of 18 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 15 per day in the past week.

MOH said in an update on Tuesday evening that there were a total of 12 cases in the community, comprising eight Singapore citizens or permanent residents, and four work pass holders. 

Case 19155, a 40-year-old Singaporean man, is linked to the cluster at Changi Lodge II, which now has a total of 387 cases. 

Four other cases are household contacts of previously confirmed patients. 

READ: Stretched but coping: How Singapore's healthcare system has cranked up efforts to deal with COVID-19

The number of Singaporeans or permanent residents has been updated from the preliminary figures released by MOH in the afternoon as one case has been "re-classified" following contact tracing, the ministry said.

"The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 17 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 10 per day in the past week," MOH added.

"The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of 10 cases per day in the week before, to an average of five per day in the past week. We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme."

The ministry also reported another case from the public healthcare sector.

Case 19360 is a 20-year-old Singaporean man with no recent travel history to affected countries or regions. 

He works as a nurse at the community care facility at the Singapore Expo.

He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Tuesday, and is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. 

The nurse is the third public healthcare sector coronavirus case linked to the facility. 

NINE NEW CLUSTERS

MOH reported nine new clusters - 60 Benoi Road, 100A Central Boulevard, a construction site at Clementi N2C3, 1 North Coast Drive, 31 Sungei Kadut Loop, 9 Tech Park Crescent, 80 Tuas Avenue 1, 15 Tuas View Close and 131 Tuas View Square.

The largest cluster at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol also continues to grow, with 15 additional cases bringing the total to 2,525. 

Of the new cases reported on Tuesday, MOH said 97 per cent are linked to known clusters while the rest are pending contact tracing. Further details can be found in the ministry's daily situation report

Case 16370, a 44-year-old Bangladeshi man, died on Tuesday. 

He was admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Apr 29 and treated for a heart attack. MOH said he also tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day.

The cause of death is acute myocardial infarction, the health ministry said.

MOH said 62 more patients have been discharged after making a full recovery.

In all, 1,519 have fully recovered from the infection and discharged from hospitals or community care facilities. 

MOH said there are currently 1,584 confirmed cases still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, while 24 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

A total of 16,289 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19. 

As previously reported, 18 patients have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

READ: COVID-19 elections Bill passed to enable Singaporeans on stay-home notices to vote

WHEN CAN THE CIRCUIT BREAKER BE LIFTED?

The COVID-19 situation in Singapore was discussed in Parliament on Monday, with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong laying out some factors that need to be considered before the circuit breaker can be lifted. 

One of the factors was that the number of community cases daily should fall to zero or single digits over a sustained period of time, with very low numbers of unlinked cases.

He added there was also a need for a fall in the number of migrant worker cases, the largest group affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore.

Mr Gan noted that this will take "a while longer". 

READ: Singapore developing nationwide COVID-19 testing strategy to better detect unlinked cases in community - Lawrence Wong

While the COVID-19 situation within larger foreign worker dormitories was mostly stable for now, the condition at smaller dorms was still “mixed” and “taking up much bandwidth”, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo explained on Monday.

Singapore is also looking into a nationwide COVID-19 testing strategy, as the Government scales up its testing capacity, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong added in Parliament.

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Source: CNA/aa

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