33 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported

The imported cases were placed on stay-home notices or isolated on arrival in Singapore.
The imported cases were placed on stay-home notices or isolated on arrival in Singapore.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - There were 33 new coronavirus cases confirmed at noon on Saturday (Jan 2), taking Singapore's total to 58,662.

Saturday’s number is the the highest daily figure since Sept 15 when there were 34 cases.

The new cases were all imported and had been placed on stay-home notices or isolated on arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Among the 33 new cases, there are six Singapore permanent residents from India and Indonesia, five dependant’s pass holders including a three-year-old girl from India and two long-term visit pass holders from Egypt and India, and one student’s pass holder from India.

There are also 12 work permit holders from Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Philippines, of which nine are foreign domestic workers, said the ministry.

There is also one short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Indonesia to visit her Singaporean parent.

There were two symptomatic cases among the 33 new coronavirus cases here confirmed on Saturday. The rest were asymptomatic.

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

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from one case in the week before to 10 cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one case in the week before to four cases in the past week.

A total of 61 patients remained in hospital on Saturday, while 96 were recuperating in community facilities. One patient was in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Seventeen patients were discharged.

On Friday, a second Raffles Girls' School (RGS) student was among the three community cases announced.

The 14-year-old Singaporean is a friend of an earlier confirmed case - a family member of a permanent resident, a marine surveyor at Lloyd's Register Singapore, who was also previously confirmed to have the coronavirus.

The teen had visited her friend, who is also an RGS student, at her home on Dec 27 for a few hours while the marine surveyor was present. As a result, the girl, who was last in school in October, was identified as a close contact and quarantined, said the Health Ministry.

She developed a fever on Wednesday and was taken by ambulance to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where she was tested for the virus, added the ministry. Her test result came back positive for the infection on Thursday. Her serological test result has also come back negative, indicating that she likely has a current infection.

The second linked community case is a 52-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a client analyst at Deutsche Bank at One Raffles Quay but does not interact with clients or external parties.

She is a family member of an earlier confirmed case, a Singaporean who works as a harbour pilot, as well as two community cases reported on Thursday, said MOH.

She developed symptoms on Monday and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Tuesday. However, she chose not to take a Covid-19 test despite being advised by a doctor to do so. She was given five days' medical leave, during which she had to remain at home.

On Thursday, she was placed on quarantine after being identified as a close contact of previous community cases and reported being unwell when contacted by MOH.

Her test result came back positive for Covid-19 after she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in an ambulance.

Her serological test result came back negative, indicating there is likely a current infection.

Those advised by their doctors to take a Covid-19 test should do so, to allow early identification of affected individuals and to contain further spread of the virus, MOH said.

In Friday's statement, MOH also said that following an investigation of Mandarin Orchard Singapore, it has "determined that there was no further transmission" beyond the 13 cases previously reported. It has approved the reopening of the hotel from Saturday, including its restaurant and event spaces.

There were also 27 new imported coronavirus cases confirmed on Friday.

Restaurants at Chijmes and Tanjong Pagar as well as Takashimaya department store at Ngee Ann City were among the new places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious, said MOH.

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December 2019, has infected more than 82.7 million people. More than 1.8 million people have died.