SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 25 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Wednesday (Jan 27), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
All the infections were imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival. Three cases were symptomatic.
No locally transmitted cases were reported in the community or in foreign worker dormitories.
This is the fifth consecutive day with no COVID-19 community case.
The imported cases include four permanent residents who returned from India and the United Arab Emirates, as well as two work pass holders who travelled from India and the UAE.
One is a dependant's pass holder who arrived from India. The seven-year-old boy is a contact of a previously confirmed COVID-19 case.
The remaining 18 imported cases are work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, of whom 16 are foreign domestic workers.
DECREASE IN COMMUNITY CASES
MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has decreased from 18 cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from six cases in the week before to one case in the past week.
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Among the 194 confirmed cases reported from Jan 21 to Jan 27, a total of 110 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 32 have tested negative, A further 52 serology test results are pending.
Eighteen more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 59,104.
There are 38 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and none is in the intensive care unit. Another 220 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.
VACCINATIONS BEGIN FOR SENIORS
Vaccinations for seniors began on Wednesday in Tanjong Pagar and Ang Mo Kio as part of a pilot to inoculate 5,000 to 10,000 seniors in these areas, which have a high population of elderly people.
It will take some time for "nearly everybody" in Singapore to be vaccinated and develop herd immunity, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Ang Mo Kio polyclinic on Wednesday.
"It will not be in time for us to have a normal, very exciting Chinese New Year, but it will help."
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The Government is targeting to have one community vaccination centre in every town by the end of March, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.
“And if we need to scale it up faster because if the vaccines come in faster, we will make sure that we have the vaccination capacity," said Mr Chan at Tanjong Pagar Community Centre.
UK VARIANT CASES
Staff members at Jewel Changi Airport as well as Terminal 3's public shops and food establishments who had worked from Dec 31 will be put through a special testing operation.
The move was made as a precautionary measure after three previously reported COVID-19 cases tested positive for the new B117 variant, according to MOH's update on Tuesday, which also said the three infections could be linked.
The B117 strain was first reported in the UK in late November last year and Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said the strain could be “up to 70 per cent more transmissible”.
Long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Britain have been barred from entering or transiting through Singapore since Dec 23.
As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,391 COVID-19 cases.