1,369 of the 1,426 coronavirus cases confirmed in S’pore are foreign workers living in dormitories

The majority of the Covid-19 cases here are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.
The majority of the Covid-19 cases here are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Three new coronavirus clusters have been announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (April 20).

One is linked to Jurong Apartments dormitory, the second to Woodlands Lodge II dormitory, and the third to 8 Sungei Kadut Loop which is the address of construction firm King Wan Construction.

The ministry also said that 1,369 of the 1,426 new coronavirus cases on Monday are foreign workers living in  dormitories.

MOH explained that it is picking up many more cases from dormitories because of extensive testing.

"These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive," said the ministry.

Most of these cases have a mild illness and are being monitored in community isolation facilities or the general wards of hospitals. None of them is in the intensive care unit.

Of the new cases which are likely locally transmitted, 18 are Singaporeans and permanent residents, while seven are work pass holders.

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

Singapore’s largest active cluster remains S11 Dormitory@Punggol, which has confirmed 1,977 cases as of Monday.

With Monday’s figures, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Singapore stands at 8,014.

MOH earlier preliminarily confirmed 1,426 new cases of Covid-19 infection in Singapore as of Monday noon, the single highest daily spike in numbers since the outbreak began in January.

As of Monday, 1.9 per cent of the 323,000 foreign workers living in dormitories, or 6,075 cases have tested positive for the virus. This means three in four of all coronavirus cases here are linked to dormitories.

Also, 28 of the 43 purpose-built dormitories here are linked to virus clusters, as of Monday night.

Out of these, 18 have been declared isolation areas. Workers living there must be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.

There are also at least 14 clusters at smaller factory-converted dormitories.

The dorm at 31 Sungei Kadut Avenue also became the first factory-converted dorm to be placed under isolation, effective from Tuesday.

MOH said that the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of 39 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 29 per day in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained relatively constant, with an average of 20 cases a day for the past two weeks.

“We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme” it said.

MOH also announced on Monday that 33 more coronavirus patients were discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of people who have fully recovered and discharged to 801.

Of the 3,420 confirmed cases still in hospital, most are stable or improving, but 23 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 3,782 patients who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. Eleven have died from complications due to Covid-19.

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