4 new community COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including 1 unlinked case at Orange Valley Nursing Home
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported four new COVID-19 cases in the community as of noon on Thursday (Jun 10).
Two were linked to previous cases - one of them had been quarantined earlier while the other was detected through surveillance.
The remaining two community cases were unlinked, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
One unlinked community case involved a 29-year-old man working as a nursing aide at Orange Valley Nursing Home (Balestier).
The Indian national was asymptomatic. He was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose on May 14.
His infection was detected when he was tested for COVID-19 on Jun 8 as part of the nursing home's surveillance testing for staff members.
His pooled test result came back positive on Jun 9 and an individual test done on the same day also came back positive. His serology test result was positive.
The other unlinked community case involved a 74-year-old man working in a sundry store at Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre.
The Singaporean developed a cough on Jun 8 and a sore throat on Jun 9. He sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Jun 9 and was given both an antigen rapid test (ART) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
He was immediately isolated when his ART result came back positive on the same day. His PCR test result also came back positive later that day. His serology test result was pending.
The man was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose on Apr 6.
OTHER COMMUNITY CASES
A community case involving a 40-year-old inmate at Changi Prison Complex was linked to the cluster at the jail, bringing that cluster to 16 cases. The man was a close contact of Case 63160, a cook employed in the prison kitchen.
The new case had been placed on quarantine on May 13. He developed a cough and sore throat on Jun 7 and was tested for COVID-19 on Jun 8. His test result came back positive the next day.
The man had been tested regularly for COVID-19 during quarantine and all his test results were negative. The last test was done on Jun 4. His serology test result was pending.
The man tested preliminarily positive for the Delta variant and the results of further confirmatory tests were pending, said MOH.
Another linked community case involved a 40-year-old baker at St Leaven bakery at Takashimaya.
The Malaysian was asymptomatic. His infection was detected when he went for a COVID-19 test directed by his employer on Jun 7.
He was placed on quarantine that same day as he had been identified as a family member and household contact of Case 64112, a woman working as a retail assistant at Four Leaves bakery at ION Orchard and AMK Hub.
The man's test result came back positive for COVID-19 on Jun 9. His serology test result was negative for the N antigen, which suggested the presence of early infection, said MOH.
The man had received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 31.
There were also nine imported cases, who had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.
Two cases were Singaporeans and five were permanent residents who had returned from Angola, India, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.
One case was a work pass holder who had arrived from the Philippines. The remaining case was a work permit holder who had arrived from Indonesia.
No new infections were reported in migrant workers' dormitories.
In all, Singapore reported 13 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
PUBLIC PLACES VISITED BY CASES
The St Leaven bakery in Takashimaya and Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre, where two of the new community cases worked, were added to a list of locations visited by community cases during their infectious period.
MOH's full list of new locations is as follows:
GRAB CLUSTER CLOSED
A cluster of three COVID-19 cases linked to a private hire car driver with Grab was closed on Thursday after no new infections were linked to it for the past 28 days.
Twenty-five more cases were discharged, bringing the total number of cases that had fully recovered to 61,765.
There were 150 cases in hospital, including one in the intensive care unit. A total of 287 were isolated and cared for at community facilities.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community decreased from 147 cases in the week before to 40 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community also decreased from 26 cases in the week before to seven cases in the past week.
Among the 91 confirmed cases reported from Jun 4 to Jun 10, 46 cases tested positive for their serology tests, 30 tested negative, and 15 serology test results were pending.
UPDATE ON HDB BLOCK TESTING
MOH also provided an update on the mandatory testing at various Housing Board blocks as of Thursday.
In Punggol, a total of 452 residents and visitors of Block 325A Sumang Walk had been tested. All were found to be negative for COVID-19.
In Hougang, a total of 4,347 visitors of Block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 as well as residents and visitors of seven neighbouring blocks had voluntarily stepped forward for testing. Of these, 4,273 people had tested negative and 74 more test results were pending.
EASING OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
Singapore announced it would gradually ease restrictions amid a fall in the number of community cases and as it prepared to move back into Phase 3 (Heightened Alert).
From Jun 14, the limit on social gatherings will be raised from two to five, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force announced on Thursday.
READ: Up to 5 in a group allowed from Jun 14; dining-in to resume on Jun 21 in phased easing of COVID-19 curbs
More restrictions will be eased from Jun 21 if the COVID-19 situation remains under control, the task force said.
Dining-in, wedding receptions, indoor sports activities with masks off and tuition classes will be able to resume. Limits on event sizes will also be raised. However, working from home will remain the default.
The task force also announced that Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 can register for their COVID-19 vaccinations from Friday. This comprises a "big group of 1.5 million people", said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
READ: COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits for self-testing to be 'sold by pharmacists' from Jun 16: MOH
From Jun 16, four brands of COVID-19 ART kits for self-testing will be "sold by pharmacists", the task force also said. They produce results in less than 20 minutes.
"As we want to resume more activities, we need to make testing fast, easy and accessible," said Mr Ong.
As of Thursday, Singapore has reported 62,236 COVID-19 cases and 34 fatalities.