SINGAPORE: The number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore crossed the 15,000 mark with 690 new infections reported as of noon on Wednesday (Apr 29).
The vast majority - 660 cases - are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update.
Nineteen are work permit holders living outside dormitories.
"The number of new cases among work permit holders residing outside dormitories has decreased, from an average of 29 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 18 per day in the past week," said MOH.
"The main increase today continues to be for work permit holders residing in dormitories, where we are picking up many more cases because of extensive testing."
Six of the new cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents - the lowest such figure in about two weeks since MOH started giving a breakdown according to confirmed cases in the local community.
Five of the new cases are work pass holders, bringing the total number in the local community on Wednesday to 11.
"The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 25 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 17 per day in the past week.
"The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of 17 cases per day in the week before, to an average of nine per day in the past week," MOH added.
Singapore's tally of COVID-19 cases stands at 15,641.
FIVE NEW CLUSTERS
Of the new cases, 63 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing, the ministry said.
Five new clusters were also identified - at 11 Defu Lane 1, 106 International Road, 33 Senoko Way, 17 Shaw Road, and 182 Woodlands Industrial Park E5.
A total of 62 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.
In all, 1,188 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, said MOH.
Presently, there are 1,714 confirmed cases who are still in hospital.
"Of these, most are stable or improving, and 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 12,725 are isolated and cared for at community facilities," MOH said.
A total of 14 people have so far died of COVID-19 in Singapore.
NCID NURSE AMONG NEW CASES
A 23-year-old Malaysian, Case 15237, was confirmed to have the infection on Wednesday after reporting symptoms on Apr 23.
She is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases where she works as a nurse. Before her hospitalisation, she had mostly been on medical leave and had only gone to work for a few hours, MOH said.
The links between the previously announced cases and new ones can be found here.
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MOH's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said during a media briefing on Tuesday that migrant workers living in dormitories who present symptoms of COVID-19 are isolated before they are tested to prevent the virus from potentially spreading to others
He added that the number of COVID-19 cases may be higher than what is stated in the official report - which includes confirmed and verified infections - but the suspected cases will eventually be tested to confirm if they are infected, or if they have recovered.
The authorities on Tuesday also announced that healthcare capacity to deal with COVID-19 will be increased significantly in the next two months, with the total number of bed spaces for those with mild symptoms doubling by end-June.