Singapore reports 876 new COVID-19 cases, taking total past 23,000; most discharged cases in a day
33 cases from a laboratory were found to be false positives because of an "apparatus calibration issue" with one of its test kits, says the Ministry of Health.
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 876 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Sunday (May 10), taking the country's total to 23,336.
Another 425 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,721.
Of the 876 new cases, 860 are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update. Another 11 cases are work permit holders who reside outside dormitories.
"The number of new cases from the testing of workers with acute respiratory infection symptoms and their contacts remains stable," MOH said.
"But the number of daily cases continues to rise as we are also testing the workers who are well and asymptomatic, as part of our process to verify and test the status of every worker.
"We had started this intensive testing at the purpose-built dormitories, and are now doing so for the factory-converted dormitories."
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There were also four cases in the community. Two are Singaporeans or permanent residents, while the other two are work pass holders.
One of the patients, Case 23146, is a 63-year-old Singaporean woman who is a resident at Acacia welfare home. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Saturday.
Case 22966, is a 49-year-old permanent resident who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday via serological testing, said MOH.
He is linked to the cluster at Mustafa shopping centre, and is also a contact of Case 741 - a nurse from Sengkang General Hospital.
According to MOH's previous reports, the 42-year-old nurse reported onset of symptoms on Mar 24, and subsequent test results confirmed infection on Mar 27 afternoon.
"The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 11 cases per day in the week before to an average of nine per day in the past week," the health ministry said.
"The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of five cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week."
Another imported case was also reported. The patient, a 61-year-old Singaporean man, had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, MOH said.
Known as Case 22872, the man has travel history to Qatar and had onset of symptoms on May 7. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection two days later.
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33 CASES WERE "FALSE POSITIVES"
MOH said on Sunday that it had recently found 33 previously confirmed cases from a laboratory were "false positives" as a result of "apparatus calibration issues for one of its test kits".
They were subsequently found to be negative after retesting at the National Public Health Laboratory.
"There were no false negative results discovered from our review," the ministry added. "MOH has taken immediate actions to rectify the situation. The laboratory has stopped all tests and is working to resolve the calibration issue.
"In addition, there were two results that had been equivocal, and were subsequently verified to be negative upon re-testing."
FIVE NEW CLUSTERS FOUND
Five new clusters were also identified on Sunday, after contact tracing and investigations uncovered links between previously announced and new cases.
The new clusters are: 15 Serangoon North Avenue 1, Tanah Merah Coast Road, 9 Woodlands Industrial Park E1 and 515 Yishun Industrial Park A.
The cluster at 6 Battery Road has been closed as there have been no new cases linked in the past 28 days.
Of the 1,097 COVID-19 cases still in hospital, most are stable or improving, MOH said. There are 22 cases in critical condition in intensive care units.
The remaining 19,498 cases who are clinically well or experiencing mild symptoms are isolated and cared for at community care facilities.
Singapore is more than a month into its "circuit breaker" period to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, but is getting ready for a gradual easing of some measures.
Some businesses, including hairdressers and home-based food businesses, will be allowed to resume operations from May 12, with a gradual resumption of selected activities and services over a few weeks.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Manpower laid out requirements firms will need to meet to resume operations at workplaces.
They include implementing a system of safe management measures at workplaces, reducing physical interaction and ensuring safe distancing at workplaces.