908 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, nearly all are migrant workers in dorms

A resident at Westlite Papan Dormitory gets a swab test on April 21, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - There were 908 new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Wednesday noon (Aug 5), taking Singapore's total to 54,254.

The vast majority are dormitory residents who were tested during their isolation or quarantine period, even though they are asymptomatic, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The patients are among the final batch of workers being cleared, and they come from dormitories with a relatively high prevalence of Covid-19.

"Hence we expect the daily case counts to be high for the coming days, before tapering down thereafter as the inter-agency task force completes the dormitory clearance," the ministry said.

It added: "We remain on track to clear all the dormitories by Aug 7 (Friday), except for a few standalone blocks in the dormitories that serve as quarantine facilities."

There was 1 community case - a work permit holder.

MOH had said that there were four cases in the community but later updated that three have been re-classified after contact tracing.

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

More details will be announced on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, a Hindu temple was added to the list of places visited by Covid-19 cases while they were still infectious.

The Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar Temple at 10 Yishun Industrial Park A was visited by at least one case on July 31 from 7pm to 9pm.

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

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

The full list can be found on MOH's website.

All seven imported cases announced on Tuesday had recently arrived in Singapore from India, with the youngest being a five-year-old boy who has been linked to a previous case.

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The two community patients announced on Tuesday were a Singaporean woman and a Bangladeshi work pass holder.

The 31-year-old Singaporean woman was asymptomatic but was identified through the ministry's proactive screening of workers in essential services.

The 46-year-old work pass holder was already in quarantine as a contact of a previously confirmed case and tested positive on Monday, despite being asymptomatic.

As of Tuesday, the average number of new daily cases in the community during a week has decreased from four cases two weeks ago to two in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community during a week has also fallen from a daily average of two cases to one over the same period.

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

Globally, the virus outbreak, which began in December last year, has infected more than 18.6 million people. More than 703,000 people have died.

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