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Singapore reports 24 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

Singapore reports 24 new COVID-19 cases, all imported

People wearing protective face masks at Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Twenty-four new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Monday (Jan 4), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

All the cases were imported and placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore, said the ministry.

No new cases were found in the community and in foreign workers' dormitories.

MOH said all the cases were asymptomatic and detected from screening and surveillance. 

Among the new cases is a 62-year-old Singaporean woman who returned from the United States.

READ: Vaccinating the Singapore population against COVID-19 requires ‘considerable resources’, to be key focus in 2021: Gan Kim Yong

There are also two dependant's pass holders who arrived from India - a two-year-old baby who is a contact of a previously reported case - Case 58860 - as well as a six-year-old child who is a contact of three other confirmed cases - Cases 58893, 58919 and 58920. 

Two cases reported on Tuesday are work pass holders who arrived from India, as well as a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Romania to board a ship docked in Singapore as a crew member. 

Eighteen other cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and India, of whom 15 are foreign domestic workers. 

INDONESIAN SHIP CREW MEMBER LINKED TO PREVIOUSLY CONFIRMED CASE

MOH said Case 58973, a 28-year-old Indonesian man, is a ship crew member who boarded a vessel on Nov 1 in Indonesia. The work permit holder was placed on quarantine on Dec 31 as he had been identified as a close contact of a previously reported case, Case 58812 who is a crew member of the same vessel. This is the second person who has been linked to Case 58812, a 47-year-old Indonesian man who is also a work permit holder. 

Case 58973 was taken to a government quarantine facility on Jan 2 and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. 

Prior to that, MOH said he did not disembark from the vessel. All the remaining crew members of the vessel have been placed on quarantine since Dec 31.

Epidemiological investigations are in progress and serological tests for the close contacts of the cases will be conducted, said the health ministry. 

READ: COVID-19 vaccine allowed for use only if HSA assesses it to be ‘sufficiently efficacious and safe’: Gan Kim Yong

TEN MORE COVID-19 PATIENTS DISCHARGED

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from one case in the week before to nine cases in the past week. 

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one case in the week before to three cases in the past week. More details can be found in the health ministry's daily situation report

Ten more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 58,497.

There are 67 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 128 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.



COVID-19 VACCINATION BOOKINGS WILL ENSURE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY 

Bookings will be required when COVID-19 vaccination begins for Singapore residents, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament on Monday.

The prior bookings are necessary given the cold-chain requirements at the vaccination sites and multi-dose vials of the vaccines. It will also ensure operational efficiency and minimise individual wait times, said Mr Gan, adding that more information on steps to make the booking will be provided later. 

READ: 2 family COVID-19 clusters a 'sobering reminder' about how easy it is for clusters to break out: Lawrence Wong

The vaccine is free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, including long-term work permit holders.

Mr Gan added that a national effort to vaccinate the Singapore population will need “considerable resources” to implement and will be one of the Government’s key focus areas in 2021. 

READ: No local COVID-19 cases from people who entered Singapore without pre-departure tests from Nov 18 to Dec 27

In his ministerial statement in Parliament, Mr Gan said the last time Singapore conducted a vaccination exercise of this scale was in 1959, in response to a smallpox outbreak. Slightly more than 1 million people were vaccinated then.

“The scale of the current effort is larger, but we are also much better prepared. We started planning for this very early on,” said Mr Gan.

As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,721 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease. 

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Source: CNA/lk/zl

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