COVID-19: Singapore confirms 596 new cases; total 6,588

20-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 7:57 AM Print This Post

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has verified and confirmed an additional 596 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of 12pm on Sunday (19 April).

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore to date to 6,588.

The majority of the new cases are work-permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. Of the new cases, 68 per cent are linked to known clusters.

Here’s the breakdown of the confirmed cases on Sunday:

Cordoned off seats seen at the Empress Market and Food Centre on 16 April 2020, Day 10 of Singapore's partial lockdown. (Yahoo News Singapore)

Cordoned off seats seen at the Empress Market and Food Centre on 16 April 2020, Day 10 of Singapore’s partial lockdown. (Yahoo News Singapore)

Imported cases: 0

Cases in the community: 30 (25 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, 5 work pass holders)

Work permit holders (residing outside dormitories): 22

Work permit holders (residing in dormitories): 544

There are also five new clusters:

Woodlands Lodge I (50 Woodlands Industrial park E4)

Changi Lodge II (80 Tanah Merah Coast Road)

51 Paya Ubi Industrial Park

17 Jalan Besut, the site of Heat Exchangers Specialist (HES), a company providing products and services to those in the oil and gas, and petrochemical and biochemical industries

Sembawang Shipyard (198 Tagore Lane)

In a press release on Sunday night, the ministry said, “The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 37 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 31 per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased slightly, from an average of 18 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 22 per day in the past week.”

The number of new cases among Work Permit holders residing outside dormitories has increased, from an average of 11 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 21 per day in the past week.

The increase in cases among those residing in foreign worker dormitories and the ministry said that this is “in line with our continued efforts to actively test and isolate the infected workers”. Most of these cases are young and have a mild illness. None of them are in the intensive care unit.

Among the cases on Sunday, a total of 133 cases are linked to the cluster at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol (2 Seletar North Link) – it is Singapore’s largest, with a total of 1,508 confirmed cases currently.

An additional 26 cases were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 768 have fully recovered from the infection and been discharged.

Of the 2,921 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving. Currently, 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. A total of 2,888 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for the coronavirus are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.

A total of 11 cases here have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection, including a 95-year-old Singaporean man on Friday.

Three patients, who tested positive for the virus, have died from causes unrelated to COVID-19. The latest such fatality was a 40-year-old Malaysian man who died on Saturday after he was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Friday. His cause of death was a heart attack.

Case from the public healthcare sector

In an update on Case 4556, which was announced on Friday, the ministry said that she is a 32-year-old Singaporean nurse who has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions.

She reported onset of symptoms on 13 April, and subsequent test results confirmed COVID-19 infection on 17 April. She is currently warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), where she works. She had gone to work prior to hospital admission.

Measures to combat spread of coronavirus

The COVID-19 Temporary Measures Act, passed in Parliament on 7 April, gives authorities the power to ban events and gatherings, or impose conditions on how they are conducted, during the “circuit breaker” period from 7 April to 4 May.

Those caught flouting the enhanced safe distancing measures for the first time will be given a composition fine of $300, and a $1,000 fine for the second time.

Egregious cases will be prosecuted in court. A first-time offender who is prosecuted under the Act can face a maximum fine of $10,000, or a jail term of up to six months, or both. A second-time or subsequent offender can face a maximum fine of $20,000, or a jail term of up to a year, or both.

On Tuesday, authorities said that mask-wearing while going out would be mandatory and offenders will face similar penalties. Exceptions to the rule include children under the age of 2, individuals who are excused from wearing masks on medical grounds, and those doing strenuous exercise.

People who flout their five-day medical leave or stay-home notices are also subjected to similar penalties.

Part of the “circuit breaker” measures – announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 3 April – include the closure of schools and most workplaces. Only essential services like food establishments, markets and supermarkets, transport, and key banking services will remain open during the month-long closure.

In a Good Friday address, Lee reiterated his call for Singaporeans to stay home, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in foreign worker dormitories as well as in the general population.

Last weekend, the authorities issued a slew of measures, including the closure of beaches, facilities in parks and gardens and playfields.

Stadiums have also been closed, while parents are not allowed to drop off their children with grandparents on a daily basis.

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.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has also announced an additional $5.1 billion Solidarity Budget to help businesses, workers 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 2.3m cases globally

To date, there are over 2.4 million COVID-19 cases globally – it took 83 days to reach the first million cases worldwide and just 14 days for the second million.

More than 160,000 have died from the virus, with the US holding the record for the highest global death toll at over 39,000.

At more than 738,000 cases, the country also holds the record of having the largest number of patients globally, followed by Spain at over 194,000 cases, Italy at over 175,000, and France with almost 152,000 cases.

China, where the virus originated, has reported over 82,000 cases and more than 4,600 deaths, after it abruptly readjusted its death toll higher by 50 per cent on Friday.



Category: Singapore

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