10 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including one in the community

MOH reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, with one in the community, on Dec 21, 2020. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - There were 10 new coronavirus cases confirmed as at noon Monday (Dec 21), taking Singapore's total to 58,432.

There was one community case and no cases from workers' dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This is the first community case reported since Dec 5.

The last community case confirmed was a Filipino crew member who had already been identified as a close contact of another Covid-19 patient and was already in quarantine.

There were also nine imported cases, who had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore.

MOH also gave an update on its investigations into the 13 coronavirus cases at Mandarin Orchard hotel last month that may have been infected after they had arrived here.

The ministry said serological tests of eight more staff have come back positive, indicating likely past infections of Covid-19. This is in addition to the three cases announced on Sunday.

Epidemiological investigations of these 11 cases are in progress.

In the meantime, MOH said that it is testing their identified close contacts as a precautionary measure, and will also conduct serological tests to determine if these individuals could have been infected by them.

In total, 570 staff at the hotel have taken polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests - used to diagnose current or new infections - with all having tested negative. MOH said it is facilitating testing for one remaining individual who has yet to be PCR tested.

More details will be announced on Monday night.

On Sunday, all 19 new coronavirus cases confirmed were imported.

There were no new community cases and none from foreign workers' dormitories.

All the new cases were among those already placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore when they were tested, said the ministry.

Among them are two Singaporeans and three permanent residents (PRs) who returned from Britain and India.

There is one work pass holder and one work permit holder who are both working here, and had arrived from Russia and Indonesia respectively.

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There were also three long-term visit pass holders who arrived from India, and a dependant's pass holder who arrived from Britain.

Another four cases were on short-term visit passes.

Of these, one was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had returned for further treatment. The patient was accompanied by his caregiver who also tested positive. The remaining two are visiting their family members here who are Singaporeans or PRs.

The last four of the 19 cases are crew members of a ship which arrived from Indonesia. They had remained on the ship until they were taken to a quarantine facility as they had been identified as close contacts of an earlier case.

Only one of the 19 new cases was symptomatic. MOH said epidemiological investigations are in progress. Meanwhile, all identified close contacts of the cases have been isolated and quarantined.

They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that asymptomatic cases can be detected, the ministry added.

Serological tests for close contacts will also be conducted to determine if the cases could have been infected by them, MOH said.

The ministry added that the number of new cases in the community has remained low, with no new cases in the past week.

With five cases discharged on Sunday, 58,264 patients have recovered from the disease.

There are 43 patients still in hospital, with none in intensive care, and 71 patients are recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 29 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 74.2 million people. More than 1.6 million people have died.

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