SINGAPORE: One community case was among the 15 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Friday (Jan 22), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The remaining 14 cases were imported infections and no new infections were reported in foreign workers' dormitories.
The sole community case was a 26-year-old Malaysian who is linked to the BS Industrial & Construction Supply cluster, which has now grown to eight infections.
The woman, known as Case 59522, works as a sales personnel at the company at 34 Kallang Place and is a co-worker of Case 59429, a 39-year-old Singapore permanent resident who is also a sales personnel.
The woman was quarantined on Jan 18 when Case 59429 was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection. She was tested for COVID-19 on Jan 20 even though she was asymptomatic.
Her test came back positive the next day, and she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). Her serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.
MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from two cases in the week before to 21 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.
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Among the 191 confirmed cases reported from Jan 16 to Jan 22, a total of 106 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 35 have tested negative. The remaining 50 serology test results are pending.
The health ministry also added several new locations to its list of places visited by COVID-19 cases in the community during their infectious period. The places include popular shopping and dining destinations such as VivoCity, Paya Lebar Square, Golden Mile Complex and Sim Lim Square.
SINGAPORE AIRLINES CABIN CREW MEMBER AMONG IMPORTED CASES
Two Singaporeans and one permanent resident who returned from Malaysia, Mauritius and Myanmar are among the 14 imported cases reported on Friday.
There was also a dependant's pass holder who travelled from France and four work pass holders who arrived from France, India and the United Kingdom.
Three are work permit holders who arrived from India and Indonesia, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker.
There was a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her family member who is a permanent resident.
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The remaining two cases are special pass holders who are sea crew members. One case arrived onboard a vessel from China and was swabbed upon arrival. He was isolated until his result came back positive for COVID-19 infection, and subsequently taken to the hospital.
The other special pass holder arrived onboard a vessel from Timor Leste, and did not disembark. He was swabbed onboard the vessel, and taken to the hospital when his test came back positive for the coronavirus.
Of the 14 imported cases, MOH said 13 had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested during this period.
The remaining imported case, a work pass holder who works as a cabin crew member at Singapore Airlines, had travelled to the UK for work between Jan 12 and Jan 13.
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The 29-year-old woman, known as Case 59529, returned to Singapore on Jan 14. The Indian national was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and her test came back negative on the same day.
She subsequently developed a fever on Jan 17 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic. On Jan 20, she developed loss of smell and was tested for COVID-19 the next day.
Her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Jan 22. MOH said that she had mostly stayed at home from Jan 14 until she was taken to the hospital on Jan 22.
24 MORE PATIENTS DISCHARGED
Twenty-four more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 58,983.
There are 41 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 197 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,250 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities.
CAP OF 8 VISITORS PER DAY IN EACH HOUSEHOLD FROM JAN 26
Households will only be able to receive a maximum of eight visitors per day from Jan 26 given the recent rise in community COVID-19 cases and the possible risk of transmission during the Chinese New Year period.
People should also limit themselves to visiting no more than two households per day as much as possible, Minister for Education Lawrence Wong announced on Friday.
Currently, up to eight visitors are allowed in each household at any one time, with no limit on the number of homes they can visit.
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Those who choose to dine out must avoid talking loudly during their meal. This means the Chinese New Year tradition of "lohei" should be conducted without any verbalisation of the usual auspicious phrases, said Mr Wong during a COVID-19 multi-ministry task force press conference.
Face masks must also be worn during the tossing of yusheng, in line with the current rules on wearing a mask when diners are not eating or drinking, and there should also not be any intermingling across tables.
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“We only need to recall what happened last year when we indeed saw a spike in cases after Chinese New Year, and we had many clusters linked to Chinese New Year gatherings.
"This was last year, we don’t want a repeat of that happening. And that’s why we are making a pre-emptive move now to tighten some of our measures," added Mr Wong.