Coronavirus: 7 in 10 new Covid-19 cases in Singapore linked to foreign worker dormitories

Shaw Lodge has been identified as a new Covid-19 cluster. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

SINGAPORE - Dormitories are in the spotlight again, as most of the 287 new coronavirus cases announced on Thursday (April 9) - seven in 10 - are linked to clusters at foreign worker dormitories.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that of the new cases, 217 are related to existing clusters. Among these, 202 are linked to clusters at foreign worker dormitories.

Furthermore, a new cluster at another dormitory, Shaw Lodge in Tai Seng, has been found. Five cases announced earlier are linked to it.

The S11 Dormitory cluster in Punggol swelled with an additional 166 new cases, making it the largest cluster here with 283 cases now, close to 15 per cent of all cases in Singapore.

Aside from S11 Dormitory and Shaw Lodge, 11 cases were linked to the cluster at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory, bringing its total cases to 49, while two cases were linked to Toh Guan Dormitory which now has 25 cases. Both dormitories are in Jurong East and, along with S11 Dormitory, have been gazetted as isolation areas.

This means that workers will be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days.

Other clusters at dormitories - Sungei Tengah Lodge, Tampines Dormitory, Cochrane Lodge I, Kranji Lodge and Sungei Kadut Loop - also had more patients linked to them, adding between one and 17 new cases.

MOH said that the cause of the death of a 32-year-old long-term pass holder announced earlier on Wednesday was due to a heart disease, not complications from Covid-19. The Indian national had died while waiting for his Covid-19 test results.

The ministry also gave an update on a patient from the public health sector. She is a 27-year-old woman who is a programme coordinator at Singapore General Hospital, and reported symptoms of the virus on April 4 and was confirmed to be infected on Tuesday.

She was one of the cases announced on Wednesday and has no recent travel history to affected countries.

Just three of the new cases announced on Thursday are imported and of the 284 cases that are locally transmitted, 19 cases are linked to other cases, while 48 are not known to be linked to previous cases and contact tracing is ongoing.

This brings the total number of coronavirus patients here to 1,910.

MOH also said that 54 patients were discharged on Thursday. To date, a total of 460 cases have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.

Of the 884 confirmed cases still in hospital, most are stable or improving, with 29 in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 559 people who are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at private hospitals and other facilities.

Six have died from complications due to Covid-19 infection.

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