21 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, all imported; 1 earlier case confirmed to have UK virus strain
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 21 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday (Dec 23), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
All the new cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.
MOH also confirmed that a COVID-19 case reported on Dec 8 was found to carry the new coronavirus strain circulating in the United Kingdom.
READ: Singapore confirms 1 COVID-19 case carrying UK virus strain, 11 others 'preliminarily positive'
"In light of recent reports that the B117 strain, a potentially more contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus, is circulating in the UK, the National Public Health Laboratory is performing viral genomic sequencing for confirmed COVID-19 cases who had arrived from Europe recently," said MOH.
The case, known as Case 58504, is a 17-year-old woman who had been studying in the UK from August.
She returned to Singapore on Dec 6 and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility upon arrival.
The ministry said there is "currently no evidence that the B117 strain is circulating in the community".
Eight of Wednesday's imported cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents who arrived from Canada, India and the UK, said MOH.
Nine cases are foreign domestic workers who arrived from India, Indonesia and Myanmar. On Tuesday, 21 of the 29 new cases were also foreign domestic workers.
Of the remaining four cases, two are student's pass holders who arrived from India and two are short-term visit pass holders - one who arrived from India to visit his Singaporean relatives and one who arrived from Sweden to board a ship docked here as a crew member.
There were no new locally transmitted cases.
Eighteen more COVID-19 cases were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. A total of 58,322 cases have fully recovered from the infection.
There are currently 34 cases who are still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving. None of the COVID-19 cases are in the intensive care unit.
A total of 97 cases are being cared for at community facilities. These cases have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
SINGAPORE BARS UK TRAVELLERS OVER NEW STRAIN
Long-term pass holders and visitors with recent travel history to the United Kingdom will not be allowed entry into Singapore from 11.59pm on Wednesday, said MOH on Tuesday.
The travellers, including short-term visitors who have travelled to the UK within the past 14 days, will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore, said the ministry.
READ: Singapore to bar UK travellers over new coronavirus strain; tighter measures for those with travel history to New South Wales
The announcement came after the discovery of a new highly infectious strain of the novel coronavirus in the UK, which British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said was "out of control".
The move by Singapore follows similar measures by other places that have already banned flights from Britain, including Hong Kong, India, Germany and France.
The ban will also apply to travellers who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.
Singapore has reported a total of 58,482 cases as of Wednesday.