249 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 16 in the community and 5 imported

Clients at the Regional Screening Centre on June 9, 2020. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - There were 249 new coronavirus patients confirmed as of Wednesday noon (July 15), taking Singapore's total to 46,878.

They included 16 community cases, all of whom are work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday.

Of these 16 cases, four were close contacts of earlier cases, and had already been placed on quarantine.

Epidemiological investigations are being done for the other cases.

There were also five imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore.

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

More details will be announced on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, a 62-year-old Singaporean man who had a history of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol died from complications due to Covid-19, said the ministry.

The patient, identified as Case 17,168, was confirmed to be Covid-19 positive on April 30, said MOH.

Sengkang General Hospital - where the man died - has contacted his family and is extending assistance to them.

He was the 27th patient to die from the virus here, while 14 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Seven cases in the community were announced on Tuesday, including one Singaporean, three work pass holders and three work permit holders.

Three of the community cases were linked to previous cases or clusters.

They were all identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and were tested during their quarantine even though they were asymptomatic.

The remaining four community cases are currently unlinked. They are all in the construction sector, and were swabbed as part of periodic screening of workers in essential services who are living outside dormitories.

Epidemiological investigations for the unlinked cases are being done.

Two imported cases were also announced on Tuesday. Both are Singaporeans who returned from India last Thursday. They had been placed on 14-day stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore, and were tested while serving their notices.

Meanwhile, Dian Xiao Er restaurant in Jem was added to the MOH list of places visited by infectious Covid-19 patients.

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A second visit to FoodXchange @ Admiralty, located at 8A Admiralty Street, was also added, but MOH did not say whether the two patients made a visit separately or one patient visited the location twice.

Migrant workers staying in dormitories made up the remaining 338 cases.

MOH also announced a new cluster in a dormitory at 96 Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace.

The average number of new daily cases in the community in a week has decreased to 13 cases in the past week from 14 cases two weeks ago, the first time it has fallen since June 25.

However, the number of unlinked cases in the community in a week has increased to a daily average of seven cases from six over the same period.

With 196 cases discharged on Tuesday, 42,723 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 161 patients remain in hospital, while 3,704 are recuperating in community facilities.

There are no patients in intensive care, for the first time in almost five months as of Tuesday. The last time there were no patients in intensive care was on Feb 5, after which more people began to be admitted. The number of those in the intensive care unit peaked on April 10 at 32 before coming down to one on July 7.

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 13.4 million people. More than 580,000 people have died.

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