84-year-old S'porean woman is 12th person to die of Covid-19; most of 1,016 new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories

Foreign workers living in dormitories continue to drive the increase.
Foreign workers living in dormitories continue to drive the increase.ST PHOTO: JOEL CHAN

SINGAPORE - An 84-year-old Singaporean woman has become the 12th person to die from complications due to the coronavirus, even as the number of patients with the infection here crossed the 10,000 mark on Wednesday (April 22).

The woman died on Tuesday night. She was confirmed to have the virus on April 2. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has contacted her family and is assisting them, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a daily update on Wednesday.

In its update, the ministry also said that foreign workers living in dormitories made up 967 of the 1,016 new coronavirus cases, or about 95 per cent, announced on Wednesday.

Among the new cases announced, 17 are cases in the community. Two are work pass holders, while 15 are Singaporeans and permanent residents.

The other new patients are 32 work permit holders who did not stay in dormitories. There are no imported cases.

Of the new cases, 73 per cent are linked to known clusters.

The MOH also announced eight new clusters, which are linked to 10 Kranji Link; 32 Tuas View Square; 36 Tuas View Square; 40 Tuas View Square; 61 Senoko Drive; 8 Sungei Kadut Avenue; 18 Sungei Kadut Avenue; and Wing Fong Court at 10 Lorong 14 Geylang.

Singapore's largest active cluster remains as S11 Dormitory in Punggol, which has confirmed 2,211 cases.  The cluster alone accounts for over a fifth of all cases in Singapore.

Wednesday's latest figures bring the total number of coronavirus cases here to 10,141.

Two more foreign worker dormitories have also been placed under isolation.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong declared Homestay Lodge in Kaki Bukit and Changi Lodge 2 as isolation areas under the Infectious Diseases Act, according to a notice on the Government Gazette on Wednesday. The move comes into effect on Thursday.

There are now a total of 21 dormitories declared as isolation areas where workers at these lodgings must be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.

The MOH said on Wednesday that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 36 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 25 per day in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has decreased as well, to an average of 17 per day in the past week from an average of 21 cases per day in the week before.

"We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme," the ministry added.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases among work permit holders residing outside dormitories has continued to rise, from an average of 14 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 30 per day in the past week.

As of Wednesday, the prevalence of coronavirus cases in the community is 0.023 per cent, but it is 0.061 per cent among the 664,000 workers not living in dorms.

The figure is 2.51 per cent among the 323,000 foreign workers residing in dorms, which means 8,094 workers in dorms have been diagnosed as having the coronavirus.

The overall prevalence of the virus in Singapore is now 0.18 per cent.

 
 
 

The MOH also announced on Wednesday that 57 more coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. This means 896 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged.

Of the 4,234 patients who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving, but 25 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 4,999 patients who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) also said on Tuesday that two coronavirus patients confirmed in the past two days are from nursing homes.

One of them is a 40-year-old healthcare assistant at Sunshine Welfare Action Mission (Swami) Home at 5 Sembawang Walk. She was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on Monday.

She was warded in an isolation room at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and was last at work on Sunday.

The second patient is an 86-year-old resident from Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital at 705 Serangoon Road.


Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital at 705 Serangoon Road. PHOTO: ST FILE

She was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on Tuesday. The resident was warded in an isolation room at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Swami Home and Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital have taken additional precautionary measures, after consultation with MOH and AIC.

This includes a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the ward and affected areas of both homes. Contact tracing is being done and those who had close contact with the confirmed cases will be quarantined.

During this period, MOH and AIC will help Swami Home and Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital with additional support if it is required, to ensure services can continue for their residents.

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