Coronavirus: 2 new cases in S'pore including man who works at RWS casino; 2 more discharged bringing total recovered to 9

One of the new patients works at the Resorts World Sentosa Casino. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Two more coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Feb 11), bringing the total number discovered with the illness here to 47.

One of the two new cases is a 39-year-old Bangladeshi worker who had worked at Seletar Aerospace Heights, the same location as another Bangladeshi who was found to have the virus last Saturday. Both did not live on the same premises.

The other is a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident living in Johor Baru, who works at the Resorts World Sentosa casino.

Neither had been to China recently.

Seven of the 38 patients still in hospital remain in critical condition and in the intensive care unit, said the ministry.

Meanwhile, two more patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing the total number of those who have recovered to nine.

Of the latest two infected men, case 46 - the RWS casino worker - reported symptoms on Feb 5 and went to a GP clinic on Sunday. He was transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and isolated. He is now in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Case 47, the Bangladeshi national, is a Singapore work permit holder. He reported symptoms on Feb 6, went to the GP the next day, and to NCID on Monday.

Before being admitted to hospital, he had stayed at his rental apartment in Veerasamy Road. He had worked at the same location as case 42, a 39-year-old Bangladeshi national, who had visited Mustafa Centre in Little India before being hospitalised, and who stayed at The Leo dormitory in Kaki Bukit.

The ministry said that it has identified 1,124 close contacts as of noon on Tuesday. Of the 1,021 who are still in Singapore, 989 have been contacted and are being quarantined or isolated. Efforts are ongoing to contact the remaining 32 close contacts.

Several clusters of patients believed to have been infected via local transmission have emerged since the first case of coronavirus in Singapore was confirmed on Jan 23.

Five cases have been linked to the Life Church and Missions in Paya Lebar. Another nine people are understood to have come into contact with infected patients at health products store Yong Thai Hang in Cavan Road, which a tour group from Guangxi, China, visited on Jan 23.

Another cluster includes three Singapore residents who attended an international business conference at Grand Hyatt Singapore from Jan 20 to 22.

Malaysia, South Korea and Britain have reported patients who are believed to have contracted the virus at the meeting, which was attended by more than 100 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that it is working with countries' health ministries to investigate the incident.

Singapore raised its disease outbreak response level to orange last Friday as the coronavirus spread further within the country, with more new cases of unknown origin found.

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, orange is one step below red, which signifies an out-of-control pandemic. At orange, the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact, but the situation is still under control.

Additional measures to reduce large group gatherings in schools, tighten access to hospitals and limit large events have since been put in place.

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China's death toll from the coronavirus epidemic jumped to more than 1,100 on Tuesday - more than the global total of Sars at 774 deaths - with the number of confirmed cases across the country exceeding 42,000.

More than 300 cases have been confirmed in 24 other countries and territories, according to the WHO and Chinese health officials. Two deaths have been reported outside mainland China - in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The mortality rate of the virus in China is 2 per cent, but the mortality rate outside Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, is about 0.2 per cent.

The fatality rate for this coronavirus is closer to that for the seasonal flu (0.1 per cent) than that for Sars (10 per cent) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome or Mers (35 per cent).

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