Singapore reports 552 new COVID-19 infections and 13 deaths; 1 more imported case tests positive for Omicron variant
SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 552 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths linked to the coronavirus as of noon on Sunday (Dec 5).
The Ministry of Health (MOH) also reported one more imported COVID-19 case who has tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant.
Case 273611 is a 37-year-old Singapore permanent resident who arrived in Singapore from South Africa on a Singapore Airlines flight on Dec 1.
He was on the same flight as Cases 271487 and 271958, who tested preliminarily positive last week. Their confirmatory test results are still pending, MOH said.
The man's pre-departure test in Johannesburg on Nov 29 was negative for COVID-19, said MOH.
He was taken to a stay-home notice dedicated facility upon arrival in Singapore, and his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on Dec 1 and 3 came back negative, the Health Ministry said.
He developed a fever and sore throat on Dec 4 and was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), where he tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant, the Health Ministry said.
The man is fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms. He is currently recovering in an isolation ward at NCID, said MOH, adding that "he had not interacted in the community, and there is currently no evidence of any community transmission from the case".
The National Public Health Laboratory is conducting whole genome sequencing to confirm the variant.
The fatalities were aged between 52 and 96. All of them had various underlying medical conditions. MOH did not specify what these conditions were.
This brings Singapore's death toll from the coronavirus to 759.
The overall intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation rate is 51.2 per cent, down from 54.7 per cent on Saturday.
WEEKLY INFECTION GROWTH RATE
The weekly infection growth rate rose to 0.66 from Saturday's 0.63. This refers to the ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before.
The growth rate has remained below 1 since Nov 13. A figure below 1 means that the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases is falling.
The daily case count on Sunday is down from the 743 infections reported on Saturday. It is also the lowest since Sep 13.
Among the new cases, 537 are locally transmitted, comprising 523 infections in the community and 14 cases in migrant workers' dormitories.
The remaining 15 are imported cases, MOH said in its daily update released to the media at about 11.20pm.
As of Sunday, Singapore has reported 269,211 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
HOSPITALISATIONS AND VACCINATIONS
There are 863 COVID-19 cases warded in hospital. Of these, 155 require oxygen supplementation in general wards, six are unstable and under close monitoring in the ICU, and 52 are critically ill and intubated in the ICU.
A total of 1,518 cases were discharged over the past day, of whom 242 are seniors aged 60 and above.
As of Friday, 96 per cent of the eligible population in Singapore - those aged 12 and above - have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. About 28 per cent have received their booster shots.
MOH said it is "closely monitoring" a large cluster at THK Home For Disabled @ Sembawang.
There were 25 new infections linked to the cluster on Sunday, taking its total to 44 cases.