38 community infections among 49 new Covid-19 cases in S'pore

Of the community cases, 18 are currently unlinked.
Of the community cases, 18 are currently unlinked.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - There were 49 new Covid-19 cases, including 38 in the community, as at Sunday noon (May 16), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Of the community cases, 18 are currently unlinked. Thirteen of the community cases had already been placed under quarantine earlier.

There are no new cases in the workers' dormitories.

There were also 11 imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, said the ministry.

Of these, five are returning Singaporeans or permanent residents.

The new cases take Singapore's total to 61,585. More details will be announced on Sunday night.

Supermarket chain Sheng Siong closed its store at Block 440 Bukit Batok Avenue 8 on Sunday after it was informed that an employee there had tested positive for Covid-19 the day before. 

“The affected staff works the night shift replenishing stocks at the grocery department and has minimal contact with customers. The employee was last at work on the evening of May 14 to the early morning of May 15,” said Sheng Siong  in a statement on Sunday.

The employee, who is fully vaccinated, visited the doctor on Saturday due to fever and flu symptoms, added Sheng Siong. All employees of the store will be sent for swab tests as an added precaution. 

The store will be closed for two days for deep cleaning, and business will resume at 7am  on May 18.

In a Facebook post, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who is co-chair of the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force, said that the situation remains fluid and that measures will be reviewed and updated based on the latest public health situation. 

"The next few weeks are going to be very critical. Please stay home and go out only for essential activities," he said. "Let's continue to stay united and vigilant, and take care of one another. We will get through this together."

Mr Wong added that the Ministry of Finance had worked with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth on help measures for the arts and sports sectors. Support measures were also announced on Friday for the F&B industry.

He added that the ministries will continue to monitor and adjust support schemes if there was a need to do so. 

On Saturday, MOH said an inmate at Changi Prison Complex and four children had tested positive for the virus.

Two of the four children are linked to the Learning Point tuition centre cluster.

Both of them, aged eight and 12, are pupils of St Andrew's Junior School and took the same school bus as a pupil who attended enrichment classes at Learning Point and was later confirmed to have Covid-19.

This brings the total number of patients in the Learning Point cluster to nine, after a 50-year-old woman who works as a tutor there was confirmed to have Covid-19 last Wednesday.

The remaining two children are a six-year-old boy who is a pupil at Palm View Primary School and a seven-year-old boy who is a pupil at Yio Chu Kang Primary School.

Both cases are linked to the operating theatre nurse who worked at Sengkang General Hospital.

Of the 19 cases in the community on Saturday, 17 were linked to previous cases. They also include a prison inmate - a 32-year-old Singaporean man who was a close contact of an infected chef who works at Changi Prison Complex.

Meanwhile, eight of the community cases were linked to the Changi Airport cluster, taking the total number to 68. They include staff working in Changi Airport, employees of Ramky Cleantech Services and family members of other cases in the cluster.

The other linked community cases included a 55-year-old woman who is a housewife, linked to a 22-year-old male Singaporean who works as a cook at Wok Hey (White Sands); a 70-year-old retiree who is linked to a household member, a 70-year-old woman; a 41-year-old man who works in sales and is linked to a Kong Hwa School pupil; and an 80-year old woman who was warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) Ward 9D. She is linked to the TTSH cluster.

There were also two unlinked cases, a 53-year-old chauffeur and a 49-year-old man who is currently unemployed.

There were 12 imported cases announced on Saturday, bringing Singapore's total to 61,536. All of the imported cases had been placed on stay-home notice on arrival in Singapore, said MOH.

MOH said the number of new cases in the community increased from 43 cases two weeks ago to 103 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community in a week also increased, from six cases to 16 over the same period.

A total of 190 patients remain in hospital, including three in critical condition in the intensive care unit, while 253 are recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 31 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.