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261 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; decline partly due to fewer swab tests conducted: MOH

261 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore; decline partly due to fewer swab tests conducted: MOH

A primary school student cycles across the bridge over Kallang River in Potong Pasir, as schools reopened on Jun 2, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 261 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (Jun 5) – its lowest in nearly two months – but the decline was partly due to fewer swab tests being conducted, health authorities said.

This takes the total number of coronavirus infections in Singapore to 37,183.

The number of new cases was the lowest daily figure since Apr 12, when 233 cases were reported.

On Friday, 11 new community cases were reported – five Singaporeans, one permanent resident and five work permit holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Out of the 11 cases, eight are asymptomatic, but had been swabbed as part of the proactive surveillance or to verify their status during quarantine.

Among the non-work permit holders, one is a permanent resident who stays at Cassia @ Penjuru dormitory, and was proactively tested as part of MOH's efforts to clear the dormitories.

Among the five work permit holders in the community who tested positive, four had been picked up as a result of proactive screening. 

Of these, three were tested before they were due to start work in essential services, and one was tested as part of the screening of migrant workers residing at shophouses located at Balestier Road, due to their proximity to another cluster in the same area. 

"Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining case," the ministry said.



A breakdown of the community infections by MOH showed the cases were aged between 26 and 95. Aside from Singapore citizens, the community infections also included nationals from India, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

The remaining 250 new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. 

There were no imported cases reported on Friday.

MAP: Were you here at these times? COVID-19 cases visited these places when they were infectious

ONE NEW CLUSTER, MORE DISCHARGED

There was one new cluster reported on Friday as well at a dormitory at 781 Woodlands Avenue 9.

A total of 305 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. 

In all, 24,209 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.

MOH added there are currently 307 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. 

Of these, most are stable or improving, and four are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 12,643 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

READ: Doctors in Singapore advised to look out for blood, heart problems in COVID-19 patients

READ: Almost a quarter of infected household members of COVID-19 patients were asymptomatic, Singapore study finds

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PARLIAMENT PASSES FORTITUDE BUDGET

To help businesses and residents tide over the COVID-19 economic downturn, Parliament on Friday passed the S$33 billion Fortitude Budget, the fourth tranche of relief measures this year.

Wrapping up the debate on the Budget, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that Singapore may take years to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The road to recovery will be long, as we deal with persistent economic impact on workers, jobs, and business. Beyond economic costs, there will be immense human and social costs,” he said in Parliament.

As Singapore gradually reopens its economy, it faces a “new uncertain reality” which includes higher standards of personal and public hygiene, reduced social contact and new ways of working, said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.

“Singaporeans must learn and adapt to the new reality … Changing habits is difficult, but we must all do our best,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen said that even amid the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore should celebrate this year’s National Day Parade.

Dr Ng said he agreed with some Singaporeans who said the Government should be prudent, but added that “we should guard against a mood of despondency overcoming us or allow(ing) individual preferences to divide us".

Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative Vivian Balakrishnan said the Government is developing and will soon roll out a portable and wearable contact tracing device.

If the device works, it may be distributed to everyone in Singapore, he said.

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Source: CNA/zl

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