347 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, including 7 in the community and 2 imported

Essential workers being screened for Covid-19 at the regional screening centre at The Float @ Marina Bay on June 9, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - There were 347 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Tuesday noon (July 14), taking Singapore's total to 46,629.

They included seven community cases, comprising one Singaporean and six work pass holders, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday.

There were also two imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore.

Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the vast majority of the other cases.

MOH added on Tuesday that it has tested and cleared two thirds of workers living in dorms, or more than 215,000 workers.

The ministry is on track to clear about 80 per cent of workers staying in dorms by the end of the month, as well as to complete the testing of dorm residents around the middle of August.

MOH added that in the next few days, a higher number of confirmed coronavirus cases among migrant workers staying in dorms is expected.

This is due to a larger population of them in various purpose-built dorms completing their isolation period and being tested for Covid-19. Some of them come from dorms with a higher prevalence of the virus.

More details will be announced on Tuesday night.

On Tuesday at 12.30am, the ministry announced that Marina Bay Sands Casino and Seletar Mall were among places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were infectious.

A Giant supermarket outlet at The Bedok Market Place at 348 Bedok Road was newly added to the list of places visited by infectious patients.

The ministry provides the list of locations and the times that infectious Covid-19 patients have visited for at least 30 minutes to get those who were at these places at specific times to monitor their health closely for two weeks from the date of their visit.

The full list of locations and times can be found on the ministry's website.

MOH has said that close contacts would already have been notified and there is no need to avoid these places as they would have been cleaned if needed.

The ministry also ordered a company to shut its premises for 14 days after three coronavirus cases emerged and the company was found to have breached safe management and safe distancing measures.

The three patients are employees of Mini Environment Service at 120 Lower Delta Road. The ministry directed the workplace be closed for two weeks, from July 13 to 26, under the Infectious Diseases Act to prevent further spread at the workplace. The closure will allow the company to review and tighten its safe management measures, said the MOH.

Close contacts of the three cases had been placed on quarantine earlier, and all its employees will also be placed under health surveillance and tested for Covid-19.

There were 322 new coronavirus cases announced on Monday. They included 11 community cases consisting of one Singaporean, one permanent resident, six work pass holders and three work permit holders.

The ministry said that the higher number of cases was mainly due to fewer tests being conducted by the Covid-19 testing laboratories over the public holiday and weekend of July 10 and 11, with the backlog of samples being cleared from Sunday.

"The number of cases reported for July 9 and before was not affected," MOH said.

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Four of the community cases were linked to previous cases or clusters. Of these, two were identified as contacts of previously confirmed cases, and were tested during their quarantine to determine their status, even though they were asymptomatic.

Another patient was swabbed as he works in essential services.

The remaining linked patient was tested as part of the ministry's efforts to screen individuals working in front-line Covid-19 operations.

The other seven of the community cases are currently unlinked.

Of these, six were asymptomatic and identified from the ministry's periodic screening of workers in essential services who are living outside the dormitories.

The last patient was tested for the virus after he sought treatment for symptoms.

Epidemiological investigations of the unlinked cases are being done.

Among the five imported cases announced on Monday, two were permanent residents who returned to Singapore from India on July 6 and from Pakistan on June 20.

Another two were work pass holders who arrived in Singapore from the Philippines on June 30.

The remaining patient was a dependant's pass holder who returned to Singapore from the United States on June 30.

All of them were placed on 14-day stay-home notices when they arrived in Singapore, and were tested while serving their notices.

Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the remaining 306 cases.

MOH also announced a new cluster in a dormitory at 59H Tuas South Avenue 1.

The ministry said that the average number of new cases in the community per day has increased to 14 in the past week from 12 in the week before.

The average number of unlinked cases in the community per day increased to eight from six over the same period.

With 256 cases discharged, 42,527 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

As of Monday, 166 confirmed cases are still in hospital, with one of them in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 3,550 have been isolated and are being cared for at community facilities, which are for those with mild symptoms or who are clinically well but still tested positive for Covid-19.

Twenty-six people have died from Covid-19 complications in Singapore, and 14 patients who tested positive for Covid-19 died of other causes.

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 13.2 million people. More than 574,000 people have died.

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