157 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 20 in the community, 3 imported

Migrant workers living in dormitories make up the vast majority of the cases. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - There are 157 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Tuesday noon (July 7), taking Singapore's total to 45,140.

They include 20 community cases, comprising 12 Singaporeans or permanent residents, and eight work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Of these 20 cases, 12 are close contacts of earlier cases and had already been placed on quarantine. Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.

There are also three imported cases, all of whom had been placed on stay-home notice when they arrived in Singapore.

Migrant workers living in dormitories make up the vast majority of the other cases.

More details will be announced on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also announced that 384 more dormitories have been cleared of Covid-19.

They comprise one purpose-built dormitory, 345 factory-converted dormitories and 38 construction temporary quarters, said MOM.

In addition, 23 blocks for recovered workers in five purpose-built dorms have also been cleared.

In total, MOM said that 625 dormitories and 44 blocks for recovered workers in 17 purpose-built dorms have been cleared of Covid-19.

The total number of cleared dormitories is more than twice the number announced last Tuesday.

As of Monday, about 180,000 workers have either recovered, or have been tested to be free from the virus.

MOM said that some of the workers are pending movement to appropriate accommodations before they can resume work, while others can return to work once dormitory operators, employers and workers have made the necessary preparations to minimise the risk of new infections as the workers go to work on a daily basis.

The ministry also said that it would introduce improvements to the AccessCode feature on the SGWorkPass app to make it more user-friendly for migrant workers and employers.

The AccessCode feature was rolled out in June, and a "green" AccessCode indicates that workers can resume work safely, if their health, work and residence status meet criteria set by MOM.

The improvements will take effect on Sunday.

Meanwhile, tests for about 3,300 staff, residents and clients of 96 facilities funded by the Ministry of Social and Family Development returned negative, said Minister Desmond Lee in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The facilities include voluntary children's homes, crisis shelters, children's disability homes, sheltered workshops, day activity centres and special student care centres.

On Monday, the MOH said several malls in Orchard Road as well as Jewel Changi Airport were among places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

More than 20 locations, including malls such as Plaza Singapura, Ion Orchard and Tang Plaza, were added to the MOH online list of locations that Covid-19 patients have visited for at least 30 minutes.

Those who were at these places should monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit, said the ministry.

Infections in the community have increased, with 23 new community cases announced on Monday.

Seventeen of these were linked to previous cases or clusters, while six were unlinked as of Monday night.

There were three imported Covid-19 cases announced on Monday. They are Singaporeans who had returned from Yemen and India, and a Filipino work pass holder who had returned from the Philippines. They tested positive while serving their stay-home notices.

Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the remaining 157 cases announced on Monday.

MOH also announced a new cluster at Micron Semiconductor Asia at 1 North Coast Drive.

The average number of new daily cases in the community during a week has increased from seven cases two weeks ago to 12 in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community during a week has increased from the daily average of four cases to five over the same period.

Millennia Institute told The Straits Times on Monday that all 32 students and one staff member who were in close contact with a Covid-19-infected student have tested negative for the coronavirus, while five other staff who were not in close contact with the student are also well and will be tested soon.

MOH had placed these students and staff under home quarantine as a precautionary measure after a 20-year-old student at the school had tested positive for the virus last Saturday.

With 276 cases discharged on Monday, 40,705 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 208 patients remained in hospital on Monday, including two in the intensive care unit, while 4,032 were recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 26 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 12 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Globally, the outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 11.7 million people. More than 540,000 have died.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.