560 of 573 new coronavirus cases in Singapore are foreign workers from dorms; 3 new clusters

Migrant workers living in dormitories continue to make up the bulk of confirmed cases.
Migrant workers living in dormitories continue to make up the bulk of confirmed cases.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Foreign workers living in dormitories made up 560 of the 573 new coronavirus cases on Monday (May 4).

This is the 11th successive day when new daily cases are below 1,000.

Foreign workers not staying in dormitories made up eight of the new cases.

Among the other new community cases, five were Singaporeans and permanent residents, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a daily update.

There were no imported cases.

MOH also announced three new clusters linked to Hai Leck Engineering in Tuas, Melody Springs construction site in Yishun, and 6 Tuas Basin Link.

This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in Singapore to 18,778.

The ministry said that the number of new cases in the community - excluding foreign workers not from dormitories, but including Singaporeans and PRs - has decreased, from an average of 20 cases per day in the week before to an average of nine per day in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also fallen, from an average of 12 cases per day in the week before to an average of four per day in the past week.

Meanwhile, the number of new cases among work permit holders residing outside dormitories has dropped, from an average of 22 cases per day in the week before to an average of 13 per day in the past week.

Another two clusters were closed by MOH - the Little Gems Pre-school cluster in Ang Mo Kio, and the dormitory cluster at 55 Sungei Kadut Loop. The ministry said on Monday that this is because no more cases have been linked to the two clusters for the past two incubation periods, or 28 days.

The ministry also gave updates on three coronavirus cases from the public healthcare sector.

 
 

One is a 33-year-old Singaporean facilities manager at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). She has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on Sunday.

She is warded at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and before hospital admission, she had gone to work at NCID.

The second case is a 32-year-old Singaporean doctor who works at Changi General Hospital (CGH). She has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions, and was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on Sunday.

She is warded at CGH and before she was admitted, she had been at work for a few hours.

The third case is a 52-year-old Singaporean healthcare volunteer at the community care facility at Singapore Expo. She has no recent travel history to affected countries or regions.

She was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on Monday, and is warded at NCID. Before hospital admission, she had gone to work at the Expo.

 
 

MOH also said on Monday that 49 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. This means 1,452 people have fully recovered from the infection.

There are still 1,491 coronavirus patients in hospital. While most are stable or improving, 25 are in critical condition in intensive care units.

Another 15,812 people who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19, are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Eighteen people have died from complications due to Covid-19 infection, and five more with the virus have died from other causes not related to the infection.

On Monday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the country can consider further easing strict circuit breaker measures if the coronavirus situation improves by June 1.

For this to happen, community cases would have to remain low or drop further, while cases in migrant worker dormitories would need to come “clearly under control”.

 
 
 

The country will also need to drastically ramp up its capacity to test for the virus before the economy can restart, he said, adding that there are plans to increase testing capacity to 40,000 tests a day, up from the current 8,000 now.

The Government will also assess the global situation, as well as that in individual countries to see the rate of transmissions and what they have done to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“For any reopening of our borders, we are likely to start small and selectively, and to continue to impose a mix of isolation and test requirements, to protect ourselves from new imported cases leading to community spread,” Mr Gan said.