S'pore confirms 25th COVID-19 fatality, a 41-year-old man who had recovered, and 344 new cases

Primary school students wearing face masks arrive at school in Singapore on 2 June, 2020. (PHOTO: Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Saturday (6 June) the city-state’s 25th COVID-19-related fatality as well as 344 new cases, bringing the total to 37,527.

Singapore’s latest fatality – and its youngest by far – is a 41-year-old Chinese male national who died on Thursday. The man, identified as case 11714, was confirmed to be infected on 22 April, but had recovered and was discharged on 17 May, said the MOH.

“He collapsed on 4 June and the coroner has certified that the cause of death was massive pulmonary thromboembolism following SARS-CoV-2 infection,” it added.

The ministry also confirmed two additional clusters, both linked to dormitories located at Beyond Tuas South Boulevard and 10 Kwong Min Road.

Of the 344 new cases, 337 are foreign workers living in dorms, while seven others – three local residents and four work permit holders – are classified as cases in the community.

Of the latter, five were asymptomatic but had been swabbed as part of proactive surveillance and screening, said the MOH.

Amongst the three local residents – two Singaporeans and one permanent resident – a 42-year-old male PR is a family member of a previously confirmed case. The man, identified as case 37304, had already been quarantined earlier, added the ministry.

A 51-year-old Singaporean man, identified as case 37553, works as a cleaner at the preschool section of the Sir Manasseh Meyer International School. He was tested as part of its proactive screening of preschool staff, said the ministry,

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining Singapore resident, a 27-year-old Singaporean man who works as a physiotherapist at Tampines Polyclinic.

The man, identified as case 37515, had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions.

He tested positive on Friday and is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. The physiotherapist had not gone to work since developing symptoms.

Of the four work permit holders, three were tested as part of efforts to screen workers in essential services, said the MOH. All three were classified as local unlinked cases: a 31-year-old Malaysian woman, a 41-year-old male Indian national, and a 34-year-old Bangladeshi man.

A 37-year-old Bangladeshi man, who was tested as part of a screening of migrant workers deployed at public healthcare institutions, had been doing building maintenance works at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. The man, also classified as a local unlinked case, had not interacted with hospital staff or patients, the MOH said.

Overall, two per cent of new cases have no established links. The ministry said that the number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of five cases per day in the week before, to an average of seven per day in the past week.

Separately, 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.

The ministry also announced the closure of the cluster at the construction site at 15 Serangoon North Avenue 1 due to it not being linked to any new cases for the past two incubation periods or 28 days.

Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,722 cases linked to S11 Dormitory@Punggol, followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with 2,028 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with 1,476 cases, and Tuas View Dormitory with 1,392 cases.

The four are among the 25 dorms that have been gazetted as isolation areas and account for almost 22 per cent of 35,218 total infected foreign workers living in dorms.

Some 400,000 such workers live in dorms here in Singapore, of which about 10 per cent have been cleared of the infection, said Manpower Minister Josephine Teo on 1 June during a press conference.

Over 20,000 infected foreign workers have recovered, added Teo.

Hougang Mall added to list

The ministry also added one more public place to a list of locations, published from 25 May, visited by cases in the community for over 30 minutes. The newest addition is the NTUC FairPrice outlet at Hougang Mall which was visited on 30 May from 11.10am to 12pm.

Those who had been identified as close contacts of confirmed cases would already have been notified, said the MOH.

“There is no need to avoid places where confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been. The National Environment Agency will engage the management of affected premises to provide guidance on cleaning and disinfection,” it added.

As a precautionary measure, the ministry has advised those who had been at these locations during the specified timings to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit.

They have also been urged by the ministry to visit the doctor if they develop symptoms such as cough, sore throat, as well as fever and loss of taste or smell, and inform the doctor of their exposure history.

The list – which excludes residences, workplaces, healthcare facilities, and public transport – will be updated on a rolling 14-day basis or one incubation period.

Over 24,500 cases discharged

With 350 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, a total of 24,559 – over 60 per cent of total cases here – here have fully recovered from the infection, said the MOH on Saturday.

Most of the 308 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while four are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 12,635 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 25 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, nine others who tested positive for the virus have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and two whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

“Only cases where the attending doctor or pathologist attributes the primary or underlying cause of death as due to COVID-19 infection will be added to the COVID-19 death count,” said the MOH in previous press releases, adding that the method of assessment is consistent with international practices for classifying deaths.

As of 1 June, the ministry has conducted 408,495 swab tests, of which 264,393 were done on unique individuals. This translates to around 71,700 swabs conducted per 1 million total population, and about 46,400 unique individuals swabbed per 1 million total population.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

More Singapore stories:

COVID-19: Number of unemployed residents may hit above 100,000 this year – Heng Swee Keat

NDP2020: 4 in 5 households to receive funpack costing $2.40

Singapore's 'collective indifference' to low wage workers hurts ability to cope with COVID-19: Walter Theseira

COVID-19 economic recovery taskforce does not have enough women: Sylvia Lim

COVID-19 testing at migrant worker dorms may take up to September: Gan Kim Yong