SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 528 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Thursday (Apr 30), bringing the national tally to 16,169.
The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update of preliminary figures.
In a later update, MOH confirmed one more death in the country linked to COVID-19, taking the total number of fatalities to 15. Twelve new clusters, including one at the Institute of Mental Health, were also identified.
The latest person to die of COVID-19 was a 58-year-old Singaporean woman, said MOH. She was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Mar 26 and died on Thursday. She is the youngest person to have died of the disease in Singapore.
The woman, who is Singapore's 703rd case, had travelled to Europe before she tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two of her family members also contracted the disease.
There were a total of 488 cases among work permit holders in dormitories, MOH said.
"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.
"Most of these cases have a mild illness and are being monitored in the community isolation facilities or general ward of our hospitals. Three are in the intensive care unit (ICU)," MOH said.
Outside of dormitories, there were 31 cases among work permit holders.
"There is an increase today in the number of new cases among work permit holders residing outside dormitories.
"The vast majority of these cases are workers in the construction sector serving their stay-home notice requirements.
"Based on weekly averages, the number has decreased, from an average of 29 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 19 per day in the past week," the ministry said.
Six cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents. Another three are work pass holders, taking the total community cases reported on Thursday to nine.
MOH said: "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 14 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 seven per day in the past week."
Of the new cases, 85 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.
A total of 56 more patients were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities after recovering from COVID-19.
In all, 1,244 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.
There are currently 1,708 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, MOH added.
Of these, most are stable or improving, and 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit; 13,202 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.
NEW CLUSTERS IDENTIFIED
On Thursday, MOH identified 12 new clusters as well, including one at the Institute of Mental Health.
The new clusters are: Institute of Mental Health, 9 Benoi Crescent, 24 Benoi Place, 2 Fan Yoong Road, 10 Gul Drive, Kaki Bukit Road 6, 17 Soon Lee Road, JTC Space @ Tuas, 1 Tuas Avenue 10, 2 Tuas Avenue 10, 81 Tuas South Street 5 and 54/56 Tuas View Square.
The full list of links between previously announced and new cases can be found here.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Wednesday said that some people are deliberately spreading fake videos to "foment trouble" in foreign worker dormitories.
These videos can lead to serious law and order incidents, he said, adding that the authorities were watching individuals who spread the videos "very carefully" and will charge them if a crime was committed.
His comments came as hundreds of thousands of foreign workers have been barred from leaving their dorms to curb the spread of COVID-19, as they make up the majority of Singapore's new cases each day.