COVID-19: Over 97% of 106 new cases in S'pore are local transmissions; total 1,481

A lone commuter sits in the top deck of a public bus in Singapore on 7 April, 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Tuesday (7 April) 106 more coronavirus cases here, of which over 97 per cent are local transmissions, bringing the country’s total to 1,481.

It is the second time the city-state reported a three-digit figure in cases, following its single-day high to date of 120 new patients on Sunday.

The ages for the new 106 cases ranged from 7 to 97 years old. Of them, three are imported – bringing the total of imported cases to 557 – while the rest are local transmissions. 41 locally-transmitted cases currently have no established links.

(SOURCE: MOH)

Among the 52 new cases linked to clusters, 39 were linked to foreign worker dormitories while 13 were linked to non-dormitory clusters. These include:

  • Nine linked to the cluster at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol at 2 Seletar North Link, now linked to 98 cases (including previously-announced case 1372)

  • Five linked to the cluster at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory at 18 Toh Guan Road East, now linked to 34 cases

  • Four linked to the cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory at 19A Toh Guan Road East, now linked to 18 cases

  • Nine linked to the cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge at 500 Old Choa Chu Kang Road, now linked to 18 cases (including previously-announced cases 1342, 1362, 1367)

  • Seven linked to the cluster at Tampines Dormitory at 2 Tampines Place, now linked to 17 cases (including previously-announced case 1373)

  • Five linked to the cluster at Cochrane Lodge I at 51 Admiralty Road West, now linked to seven cases

  • Three linked to the cluster at a construction site at Project Glory at 50 Market Street, now linked to 21 cases

  • Seven linked to the cluster at Mustafa Centre at 145 Syed Alwi Road, now linked to 45 cases

  • Three linked to the cluster at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home at 1 Thomson Lane, now linked to 16 cases

Separately, a total of five previously-announced cases, including no. 1349, are now linked to the cluster at Cochrane Lodge II at 49 Admiralty Road West, said the MOH.

According to the latest daily situation report by the ministry, 304 out of 924 locally transmitted cases currently have no known links.

NTFGH nurse, polyclinic assistant among new cases

Case 1376: NTFGH nurse

The 35-year-old Singaporean woman, who had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, reported developing symptoms on 5 April.

The nurse tested positive for the virus the next day and is currently warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH). Prior to her hospital admission, she had gone to work for a few hours on 5 April.

Case 1385: Hougang Polyclinic healthcare assistant

The 61-year-old Singaporean woman, who also had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, reported developing symptoms on 1 April.

The healthcare assistant tested positive for the virus on Monday and is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). She had not gone to work since the onset of her symptoms.

Case 1315: SGH nurse (announced on Monday)

The 22-year-old Singaporean woman, who also had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, reported developing symptoms on 4 April.

The nurse tested positive for the virus the next day and is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. She had not gone to work since the onset of her symptoms.

33 more patients discharged, 29 in ICU

The ministry also announced that 33 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday. This means a total of 377 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged.

Most of the 627 remaining hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while 29 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, up from 25 on Monday.

A total of 471 cases – clinically well but still test positive for the virus – are isolated and cared for at Concord International Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Alvernia Hospital and the Community Isolation Facility at D’Resort NTUC.

Six here have died from complications due to the virus with the latest fatality – an 88-year-old male permanent resident – succumbing to it early Saturday morning.

As of Tuesday noon, the MOH has identified 17,819 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 4,618 are currently quarantined, and 13,201 have completed their quarantine.

According to the ministry’s latest daily situational report, 62,500 stay-home notices have been issued to date, with 21,100 people currently serving them.

Measures to combat spread of coronavirus

On Tuesday, the government passed the COVID-19 temporary measures Bill in Parliament, giving it the legal basis to enforce the enhanced safe distancing measures that began on the same day and will last till 4 May.

Part of these “circuit breaker” measures – announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last Friday – include the closure of schools and most workplaces. Lee also said that Singapore will no longer discourage the public from wearing face masks.

Only essential services like food establishments, markets and supermarkets, transport, and key banking services will remain open during the month-long closure.

On Sunday, the MOH gazetted two of the dorms, S11 and Westlite, as social isolation areas with almost 20,000 workers under quarantine. A third, Toh Guan Dormitory, was declared an isolation area the next day.

At the virtual media conference held by the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce, Health Minister and taskforce co-chair Gan Kim Yong also said the government is looking at preparing the Expo as a possible site for a community care facility to house patients who have recovered but are still infectious.

Separately, all Singapore residents and long-term pass holders returning from overseas apart from Hubei province must serve the 14-day stay-home notice, while those returning from Hubei must serve a 14-day quarantine. All short-term visitors are barred from entering or transiting via Singapore.

Anyone who flouts the 14-day stay-home notice by leaving the place of accommodation or residence they are serving the notice in will be subjected to steep penalties.

Patients who flout their five-day medical leave can face steep penalties such as a fine of up to $10,000 or a maximum jail term of six months, or both, according to the MOH’s latest updates to the Infectious Diseases Act.

The same penalties also apply to those who intentionally sit on a seat or stand in a queue less than one metre away from another person in public venues, from now till end-April.

Those on five-day sick leave or serving a stay-home notice must also wear a mask if they have to leave their place of accommodation to seek emergency medical treatment.

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an additional $5.1 billion Solidarity Budget to help businesses and households.

The government’s response to COVID-19 will total $59.9 billion, or about 12 per cent of Singapore’s gross domestic product.

Over 1.3m cases globally

To date, there are over 1,379,000 COVID-19 cases globally. Over 78,000 have died from the virus, with Italy and Spain accounting for close to 40 per cent of the total.

At over 377,000 cases, the US now holds the record of having the largest number of patients globally, followed by Spain at over 140,000 cases, Italy at over 132,000, Germany at over 104,000, and France at over 98,000.

China, where the virus originated, has over 81,000 cases and on Tuesday reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures in January.

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