SINGAPORE: Five new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore on Monday (Dec 14), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
No new cases were found in the community and in foreign workers' dormitories.
All five cases were imported and placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore. They were also tested while serving their stay-home notice.
Of the five cases, four are work permit holders currently employed in Singapore who arrived from the Philippines and Indonesia.
The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder from India enrolled in a private school in Singapore.
Epidemiological investigations are in progress, said MOH.
"In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases 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," the ministry added.
Two more cases were discharged, bringing the total number who have fully recovered from the infection and been discharged to 58,210.
There are 22 cases currently in hospital. Most are stable or improving, with none in the intensive care unit.
A total of 64 cases are being cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
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COVID-19: Social gatherings of up to 8 people allowed from Dec 28, further reopening of activities in Phase 3
PHASE 3 TO BEGIN ON DEC 28
Phase 3 of Singapore’s reopening will start on Dec 28, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a national address on Monday.
Social gatherings of up to eight people will be allowed in public, up from the current five. Similarly, households will be able to receive up to eight visitors at any one time.
Capacity limits in public places like malls, attractions and places of worship will also be eased.
PM Lee urged Singapore residents not to let their guard down, as the COVID-19 virus is “most likely still circulating silently within our community”.
Everyone needs to play their part, he said, adding that this is not the time to "relax and let our guard down or to hold a big party, imagining that the problem has disappeared".
Mr Lee also said that Singapore has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with the first shipment expected to arrive at the end of the month.
Vaccination is voluntary, but all adults in Singapore are encouraged to be vaccinated, he added.
Priority will be given to those at greatest risk, such as frontline and healthcare workers, as well as the elderly and the vulnerable.
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The health ministry's committee of doctors and experts has also proposed to progressively vaccinate the rest of the population and to cover everyone who wants a vaccination by the end of next year.
Vaccination will be free for all Singaporeans and long-term residents, added PM Lee.
As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,325 COVID-19 cases.