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Singapore reports 94 new COVID-19 cases, including 58 at Sungei Tengah Lodge

Singapore reports 94 new COVID-19 cases, including 58 at Sungei Tengah Lodge

Workers cleaning their dormitory room at Sungei Tengah Lodge. (Photo: MOM)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 94 new COVID-19 infections on Friday (Aug 28), with more than half of the cases from its largest foreign worker dormitory.

Of the new infections, four were in the community and 10 were imported cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

TWO COMMUNITY CASES LINKED TO 13-YEAR-OLD BOY

All four community cases were Singaporeans.

Two of the community cases -  a 51-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman - are linked to a 13-year-old Singaporean boy, who was reported as a COVID-19 case on Thursday.

One community case, a 53-year-old woman, is linked to a previous imported case who returned to Singapore from India.

All three were identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases and were tested during quarantine to determine their status.

READ: No known case of COVID-19 reinfection in Singapore, says MOH

The remaining community case, a 25-year-old woman, is unlinked to previous cases. She was detected after being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection.

Epidemiological investigations of the case are in progress, said the health ministry.

"All the identified close contacts of the case 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," MOH added.

Serological tests for the woman's household contacts will also be conducted to determine if she could have been infected by them, the ministry said.

INDONESIAN WOMAN SEEKING TREATMENT IN SINGAPORE AMONG IMPORTED CASES

Three Singaporeans and four Singapore permanent residents were among the 10 imported cases reported on Friday.

They had all returned to Singapore from India between Aug 16 and Aug 18.

Two other imported cases, a dependant's pass holder and a long-term pass holder, arrived from India on Aug 12 and Aug 16.

All nine cases were placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving their stay-home notices at dedicated facilities.

The remaining imported case was a short-term visit pass holder from Indonesia, a 58-year-old Indonesian woman.

She was allowed entry into Singapore as she has been seeking medical treatment here, said MOH. The woman was taken directly to the hospital upon arrival in Singapore.

58 NEW CASES AT SINGAPORE'S BIGGEST DORM

The remaining 80 new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories, including 58 at Sungei Tengah Lodge, which is Singapore's biggest dormitory.

The dormitory was reported as a new COVID-19 cluster on Aug 22 – about a month after it was declared to be "fully cleared" of the coronavirus.

READ: New COVID-19 cluster at Singapore’s biggest dormitory that was previously cleared grows to 175 cases

Of the 80 new cases, 70 cases had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases, and had already been quarantined to prevent further transmission. They were also tested during quarantine to determine their status.

The remaining 10 cases were detected through surveillance testing, such as MOH's biweekly rostered routine testing of workers living in dormitories and testing those with symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

"This allows us to pick up cases early, including asymptomatic ones, so that we are able to ring-fence them quickly to prevent further transmission, by aggressively containing, tracing and isolating the close contacts," said MOH.

The vast majority of the 58 new cases reported on Friday at Sungei Tengah Lodge were tested during quarantine. Shortly after a new cluster was found, about 4,500 workers were placed in quarantine at the dormitory. 

Most of the 58 workers were found to be infected with the coronavirus after taking swab tests during quarantine to determine their status, or during rostered routine testing.

About 3,000 workers at the dormitory have been tested so far, MOH said.

READ: New COVID-19 cases at dormitories detected by routine testing is 'part of the plan': Josephine Teo

"We expect the number of cases from the dormitory to continue to be high in the coming days as we complete testing of the remaining quarantined workers," it said.

Other than the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, serological tests were also conducted to determine if some of the cases residing in dormitories are current or past infections.

The test results for eight cases came back positive, which indicate likely past infections, said MOH.

Singapore now has a total of 56,666 COVID-19 cases.



MOH said it has been monitoring existing clusters for any further transmission.

As no more cases are linked to Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub for the past two incubation period, the cluster has now been closed.

A total of 198 more COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday. In all, 55,337 have fully recovered from the infection.

There are 71 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and no one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 1,231 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.

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

The health ministry said on Thursday it will "facilitate" COVID-19 tests for people who visited a camera shop in Excelsior Shopping Centre earlier this month, after a customer may have contracted COVID-19 from a store employee.

The customer was at SLR Revolution on Aug 17, where she "may have had contact" with the employee, who was at the shop during his infectious period, MOH said.

On Thursday, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam will be closed on Friday for disinfection after a man who visited the mosque tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact tracing by MOH is ongoing, and the man's close contacts have been placed under quarantine.

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Source: CNA/zl

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