16 new COVID cases in Singapore, 1 in community unlinked to TTSH cluster

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·6 min read
A healthcare worker is pictured at a swabbing station during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A healthcare worker is pictured at a swabbing station during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 25 January, 2021. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (5 May) confirmed 16 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,268.

One of them is a local case in the community and is linked to a new cluster, while the remaining 15 infections are imported. Wednesday marks the tenth consecutive day with local cases reported.

"Amongst the new cases today, 13 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while three were symptomatic," said the MOH.

Singapore now has 10 active COVID-19 clusters, the largest being the Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster which to date has 40 infections linked to it.

The ministry also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 13 in the week before to 62 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from six in the week before to seven in the past week.

Trailer truck driver linked to new 4-case cluster at terminal

The 59-year-old Singaporean man is employed by GKE Express Logistics as a trailer truck driver at Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal. He was last at work on 1 May.

The man developed a fever and sore throat on 2 May and remained at home. The next day, he sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic and was tested for COVID-19. His result came back positive for COVID-19 on 4 May, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to Alexandra Hospital. 

His serology test result is pending, said the MOH.

The ministry added that their investigations found that four cases, including the 59-year-old man, had been at Pasir Panjang Terminal for work, and transmission could have occurred at the terminal. 

The three other cases are a 23-year-old male Indian national who works as a lashing specialist at the terminal and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 10 April; another 23-year-old male Indian national who works as a stevedore at the terminal and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 30 April; and a 35-year-old Burmese man who works as a stevedore at the terminal as well as Brani Terminal, and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 28 April.

The tenth active cluster in Singapore, or the "Case 61822" cluster, is named after the lashing specialist's case number.

"Further epidemiological investigations are ongoing. As a precautionary measure, the MOH will carry out a special testing operation to test port workers employed by PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) Singapore who had been deployed at Pasir Panjang Terminal," said the ministry.

Separately, the MOH added four more locations, including one linked to the TTSH cluster, to a list of public places recently visited by infectious community cases. The places – including Chinatown Complex Food Centre and Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre as well as an ST 11 Coffee House in Woodlands – were visited from 21 April to 2 May. 

A POSB outlet at Kaki Bukit Recreation Centre was identified as one of the places visited by cases linked to the TTSH cluster.

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15 imported cases, including 5 Singaporeans

Among the 15 imported cases, five are Singaporeans and two are permanent residents who returned from India, Indonesia, Thailand, the UK, and the US. 

A 50-year-old Singaporean man and a 56-year-old male PR who both arrived from India are among Wednesday's three symptomatic cases.

Another case is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from India, and who has a Singaporean family member.

Two others are student’s pass holders who arrived from India and Myanmar. They were already studying in Singapore before, and had returned to their home country, or had been emplaced on their course earlier.

Three cases are work pass holders who arrived from the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

The remaining two are work permit holders who arrived from the Philippines and Sri Lanka, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker.

All 15 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice. "The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come in to Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," said the MOH.

Authorities on Tuesday announced tightened measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, including capping social gatherings at five persons per group, as well as cutting down workplace capacity as well as attendance at public events from 8 to 30 May.

As of Monday, there are 504 cases – 29 local cases and 475 imported – of various strains in Singapore. Of the 29, 10 have been infected with the Indian variants, including five in the TTSH cluster.

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99% of total cases have recovered, 2 in ICU

With 21 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 60,844 cases – or 99.3 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 131 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two cases – unlinked to the TTSH cluster – are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 262 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Among the 182 confirmed cases reported from 29 April to 5 May, 49 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 101 have tested negative, and 32 serology test results are pending.

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