SINGAPORE: Forty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Friday (Apr 2), all imported infections.
This is the highest daily count of new cases since Jan 30, when 58 new infections were reported.
All the cases were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
No locally transmitted cases were reported for the second consecutive day.
PERMANENT RESIDENT INITIALLY TESTED NEGATIVE
Among the imported cases was a permanent resident who returned from India. The woman, known as Case 61480, returned on Mar 17 and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility. Her on-arrival test on Mar 17 was negative for COVID-19.
On Mar 20, the 46-year-old was placed on quarantine as she had been identified as a close contact of Case 61047 during their flight to Singapore. Her tests done during quarantine on Mar 21 and Mar 30 were negative for COVID-19.
The Health Ministry said her quarantine ended on Mar 31 and she went home, where she had remained until she sought medical treatment for an unrelated condition on Apr 1.
"Although she is asymptomatic, she was tested again, and this time her result came back positive for COVID-19 infection and she was hospitalised. Her serology test result is pending. Given her recent travel history and exposure to a COVID-19 case during her flight, we have classified this as an imported case," said MOH.
2 CASES FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA WERE ON CONTROLLED ITINERARY
There were also two short-term visit pass holders who arrived from Papua New Guinea on Mar 27 for work projects in Singapore - a 54-year-old man (Case 61461) and a 30-year-old man (Case 61470).
Both tested negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore and had remained isolated at a dedicated facility until they tested negative again on Mar 29.
"Thereafter they were on a controlled itinerary, which was largely limited to their place of work and accommodation," said the health ministry.
On Mar 30, they were placed on quarantine as they had been identified as close contacts of Case 61360 during their flight to Singapore. Case 61461 developed a cough on the night of Mar 30 while Case 61470 is asymptomatic.
They were tested for COVID-19 on Mar 31 and taken to separate hospitals when their results came back positive the next day.
"Their serology test results are pending. Given their recent travel history and exposure to a COVID-19 case during their flight, we have classified these cases as imported," said MOH.
5 FOREIGN DOMESTIC WORKERS AMONG IMPORTED CASES
The other imported infections reported on Friday include a Singaporean and four permanent residents who returned from Germany, India and the United Kingdom.
Three are student's pass holders who arrived from India and Myanmar while three are work pass holders who arrived from India and the Philippines.
Twenty-five cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, of whom five are foreign domestic workers.
The remaining four cases are short-term visit pass holders. Three of them arrived from Indonesia and India for work projects in Singapore while one arrived from Indonesia to visit her family members who are permanent residents.
INCREASE IN COMMUNITY CASES
MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from one case in the week before to two cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one case in the week before to two cases in the past week.
Among the 185 confirmed cases reported from Mar 27 to Apr 2, a total of 61 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 90 have tested negative. A further 34 serology test results are pending.
Fifteen more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 60,176.
There are 40 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 204 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.
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Foreign worker levies will be waived for all S Pass and work permit holders, including maids, during their stay-home notice periods from January to September, the Manpower Ministry said on Thursday.
"This is to help employers manage the increased costs associated with the Government's updated measures to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19 into the community," said the ministry.
Since January, the Government has put in place additional border measures including limiting entry approvals for work pass holders and requiring newly arrived S Pass and work permit holders to undergo on-arrival COVID-19 testing and serve stay-home notices.
As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 60,450 COVID-19 cases and 30 fatalities from the disease.