SINGAPORE - Seniors aged 60 and older made up five out of the nine new Covid-19 cases among Singaporeans and permanent residents on Saturday (May 9).
Meanwhile, migrant workers living in dormitories made up most of the 753 new cases, taking the total count to 22,460, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday night.
Of the infected seniors, two – Singaporean men aged 60 and 77 years old – are cleaners at Northpoint City, an existing cluster which has a total of 18 confirmed cases now.
Another senior, 82-year-old male, is linked to the existing cluster at welfare home for destitute people Acacia Home, which now has a total of 16 confirmed cases.
Figures released in international studies have shown that the risk of dying from Covid-19 significantly increases with age, putting seniors at higher risk during this coronavirus outbreak.
The multi-ministry task force set up to combat the spread of the virus here had also called for greater care in protecting elderly family members.
The remaining two seniors among new Covid-19 cases disclosed on Saturday are a 70-year-old man, who is currently an unlinked case, and a 62-year-old male. The latter is a contact of an officer who had served quarantine orders at dormitories and was confirmed to have Covid-19 on May 6.
Of the new cases, 93 per cent are linked to known clusters. The rest are pending contract tracing.
On Saturday, 739 new Covid-19 cases were foreign workers living in dormitories. There were only three cases among those living outside dormitories – a drop from an average of 11 cases per day in the past week.
MOH said it is continuing to pick up many more cases among foreign workers living in dormitories, including factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing.
There are now 19,971 foreign workers from dorms diagnosed with Covid-19, or about 6 per cent of 323,000 dorm residents.
The number of new cases in the community has been on a steady weekly decline. So has the number of unlinked cases in the community, said MOH.
There were no imported cases.
MOH also identified nine new clusters. They are: 3 Buroh Lane; 9 Defu South Street 1; 44 Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace; 45 Kaki Bukit Place; 20 Kranji Road; 2 Pioneer Sector Walk; 69 Tuas South Avenue 1; 3 Tuas View Circuit; and 212 Woodlands Industrial Park E5.
(On May 13, the Ministry of Health clarified that nine of the cases at 45 Kaki Bukit Place have been found to be among the false-positive cases announced on May 10. The false readings were due to an apparatus calibration issue. As these cases have been reclassified, the cluster has since been closed.)
Another 256 patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 2,296 have fully recovered and been discharged.
There are still 1,124 patients who are still in the hospital. Most are stable or improving, while 23 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The remaining 19,020 patients are isolated and cared for at community facilities. They have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19.
Twenty have died from Covid-19 complications and six who tested positive have died from other causes.
Singapore, which now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in South-east Asia, has seen a surge in cases in recent weeks.
While it took the Republic 13 weeks, or about three months, from the first reported case on Jan 23 to cross 10,000 cases on April 22, it took just two weeks for cases to reach 20,000 cases on Wednesday. The authorities had said the recent spike in cases is largely driven by a rise in cases among workers in dormitories.
Globally, the outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 3.9 million people. Some 270,000 have died.
The United States remains the country to be worst hit, with more than 1.28 million cases and 77,000 deaths from Covid-19 as of Saturday.
Correction note: This article has been updated after MOH confirmed the closure of the 45 Kaki Bukit Place cluster.