Coronavirus: Medical studies

Five of eight new community cases part of a family cluster

The number of cases in the community has increased slightly, to an average of three cases a day in the past week, from two in the week before. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

Five of the eight new community cases of Covid-19 infection reported yesterday were part of a family cluster involving two households, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

In its daily update yesterday, the ministry added that these individuals had participated in family gatherings, and investigations were ongoing on whether any safe distancing rules were breached.

"We take a serious view of such breaches and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against any offenders," added MOH.

The eight community cases reported yesterday comprise seven Singaporeans and one 37-year-old Indian work pass holder, who was detected as a result of routine testing of workers in the construction, marine and process sectors who are staying outside dormitories.

Another Singaporean community case reported yesterday is a colleague of a previous case who worked at a camera shop in Excelsior Shopping Centre, and had earlier been placed on quarantine, added MOH.

As a precautionary measure following the detection of an earlier case who had visited the shop during the previous case's infectious period, MOH has identified and contacted 240 individuals who visited the shop between Aug 15 and Aug 18.

MOH has facilitated Covid-19 testing for all of them, even though the risk of infection for visitors was assessed to be low. So far, a total of 224 individuals have been swabbed and the results are pending, added MOH.

The camera shop was announced as a new cluster yesterday, as one of the newly confirmed cases was linked to three previous cases.

The remaining Singaporean case had gone to see a general practitioner last Thursday, was diagnosed with acute respiratory infection, and given a swab test.

Epidemiological investigations for the only non-Singaporean community case - who is unlinked - are in progress, and all the identified close contacts of the case have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

  • Update on cases

  • New cases: 54

    Imported: 7 (1 Singaporean, 4 permanent residents, 1 dependant's pass holder, 1 work permit holder)

    In community: 8 (7 Singaporeans, 1 work pass holder)

    In dormitories: 39

    Active cases: 1,158

    In hospitals: 74 (0 in ICU)

    In community facilities: 1,084

    Deaths: 27

    Patients with Covid-19 who died from other causes: 15

    Total discharged: 55,571

    Discharged yesterday: 139

    TOTAL CASES: 56,771

They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period. Serological tests for his household contacts will also be conducted to determine if he could have been infected by them, added MOH.

Other than seven imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore, migrant workers staying in dormitories made up the remaining 39 of the 54 new coronavirus patients announced yesterday, taking Singapore's total to 56,771.

Among the seven imported cases, one is a Singaporean returning from the United Arab Emirates and four are permanent residents returning from India, Bangladesh and the Philippines. The sixth is a work permit holder from the Philippines and the last is a dependant's pass holder from Pakistan.

All the imported cases had been placed on 14-day stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore, and tested while serving their notices at dedicated facilities.

The number of cases in the community has increased, to an average of three cases a day in the past week, from two in the week before.

MOH said another 139 cases were discharged yesterday, bringing the total number of those who have fully recovered to 55,571.

A total of 74 confirmed cases remain in hospital, while 1,084 are recuperating in community facilities, with none in intensive care.

Singapore has had 27 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2020, with the headline Five of eight new community cases part of a family cluster. Subscribe