All 27 new COVID cases in Singapore asymptomatic, including 2 imported

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
A man sits in an empty restaurant, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man sits in an empty restaurant in Singapore on 12 August, 2020. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 27 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Wednesday (16 September) noon, bringing the country’s total to 57,514.

The MOH also announced that an earlier announced imported case, who tested negative twice following an initial positive test result, has been removed from the tally. Investigations by laboratory experts and an expert panel assessed that the man’s first test result was false-positive.

All necessary public health actions had been taken earlier and neither the case – no. 57107 – nor his contacts had been exposed to the risk of infection due to the initial classification, the ministry said.

Of Wednesday’s new cases, all are asymptomatic and were proactively detected, the MOH added.

Of them, two are classified as community cases, another two are imported cases, including one Singaporean who arrived from India, and the remaining 23 cases are foreign workers living in dormitories.

Overall, 15 per cent of the new cases have no established links.

Both community cases – one unlinked – were detected via the rostered routine testing of workers in the construction, marine and process sectors who are living outside the dorms.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of one per day in the past week. Similarly, the number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of one case per day in the week before, to an average of fewer than one per day in the past week.

Of the imported cases, one is a Singaporean who returned here from India on 12 September, while the other is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived on 3 September.

Both were placed on the 14-day stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving their notice at dedicated facilities, said the ministry.

From 12am on Thursday, non-Singapore residents – who are not Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) – must test negative for the virus before they travel from India to Singapore.

The measure was announced by authorities last week given a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in India and a significant number of imported cases with recent travel to the country.

6 cases in dorms detected via surveillance testing

Amongst the 23 cases residing in dorms, 17 had been identified earlier as contacts of previous cases and were tested during quarantine, said the MOH.

The remaining six cases were detected through surveillance testing.

Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, administered via swabbing, serological tests were also conducted to determine if some of the cases are current or past infections.

“The serological test results for eight cases have come back positive so far, which indicate likely past infection.,” said the MOH.

Of Singapore’s COVID-19 tally, 54,265 – or 94.4 per cent – are foreign workers living in dorms.

Some 99% of total cases have recovered

With 71 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 56,955 cases – or 99 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 42 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 490 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 27 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.

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