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Singapore reports 518 new COVID-19 cases, 972 more patients discharged

Singapore reports 518 new COVID-19 cases, 972 more patients discharged

A Deliveroo rider cycles across an almost deserted Robinson Road, in the Central Business District, which usually sees heavy traffic during the day (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 518 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Sunday (May 31), taking the country's total number of infections to 34,884, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a daily afternoon update.

Two of the new cases are from the community, the ministry said in another update on Sunday evening.

MOH had reported in its afternoon update that there were three cases in the community, all of whom are Singaporeans or permanent residents.

This has since been updated to two cases, as one patient was re-classified following contact tracing.

One of the community cases is an 18-year-old male permanent resident and the other is a 73-year-old Singaporean woman. Both cases are currently unlinked.

The other 516 cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.

READ: Parkway Parade added to list of public places visited by COVID-19 cases while infectious

One new cluster at a dormitory at 128 Tuas South Avenue 3 was also identified.

MOH said that of the new cases, 99 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

The number of new cases in the community has decreased from an average of six cases per day in the week before, to an average of four per day in the past week, it said.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two per day in the past two weeks, it added.

It continues to pick up many cases among work permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in those premises.

Singapore has been running proactive COVID-19 testing for nursing home staff and residents.

MOH said on Sunday that it has completed one round of surveillance swab tests for all nursing home staff and residents on May 8 and May 30, respectively.

In all, about 13,200 residents were tested, of whom four residents of Orange Valley Nursing Home in Simei were positive. This was announced on May 21.

Out of about 9,000 nursing home staff, only one from Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio had tested positive, as announced on May 8.

A total of 972 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 21,699.

There are currently 321 cases still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, MOH said. Of these, eight patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

There are 12,841 patients who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but are still testing positive for COVID-19. They are currently isolated and cared for at community care facilities.

No deaths were reported, and Singapore's COVID-19 fatility toll remains at 23. 

The cluster at the Institute of Mental Health at 10 Buangkok Road has been closed as there have been no new cases in the past 28 days.

Singapore's circuit breaker period will end on Monday, with measures to be progressively lifted in three phases starting the next day.

Under Phase 1 of reopening, businesses that operate in settings with lower transmission risks will be allowed to resume, subject to issued safe distancing guidelines.

READ: Singapore to exit circuit breaker on Jun 1, visiting of parents, places of worship allowed with restrictions

READ: Transition to a 'new normal' after circuit breaker: How will measures be lifted beyond Phase 1?

Hairdressers and barbers may also resume offering full services. Other services such as motor vehicle servicing, aircon servicing, printing, basic pet services, school bookshops and retail shops selling school uniforms will be allowed to reopen as well.

However, most retail outlets and other personal services will not reopen during this phase, and dining in at food and beverage outlets will continue to be disallowed.

Visits to parents or grandparents, subject to a limit of one visit from two people from the same household per day, will also be allowed.

Places of worship may reopen for private worship, limited to a maximum of five members of the same household praying together at any one time. Other services such as marriage solemnisations, wakes and funerals may also be held, with no more than 10 people present at any one time.

Transition from Phase 1 to the next will depend on the number of community transmission in the first two weeks of post-circuit breaker reopening, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Thursday.

Phase 2 could happen before the end of the month, if infection rates remain low and stable during this period, he added.

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