New daily high of 1,337 Covid-19 patients discharged; 2 new clusters found

Six work pass and work permit holders are among new Covid-19 cases in the community. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - A total of 1,337 Covid-19 patients were discharged on Friday (May 29) in a new daily high.

This means that 19,622 patients have now fully recovered from the disease, or 58 per cent of the 33,860 Covid-19 patients here.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a change in its discharge criteria for patients on Thursday.

Before Thursday's announcement, patients needed two negative swab tests 24 hours apart before they could be discharged. Now, those assessed to be clinically well and no longer infectious by Day 21 of their illness will be sent home without having to undergo further tests.

They still have to stay at home or in their dormitories for a further seven days until Day 28 as a precautionary measure.

It is uncertain if the change in the discharge criteria led to an increase in the number discharged.

On Friday, there were 611 new coronavirus cases.

Among them were nine community cases, two of whom are Singaporeans and the other a permanent resident.

The rest are two work pass holders and four work permit holders.

Five of the work pass and work permit holders were tested positive during the ministry's proactive surveillance and screening, either of migrant workers living at shophouses in Balestier Road owing to its proximity to another cluster or those due to start work on plumbing or electrical projects at schools.

A Singaporean and a PR are linked to dormitory clusters and had been placed on quarantine earlier. The other Singaporean, a 25-year-old, is currently unlinked to previous cases.

Migrant workers living in dormitories made up the remaining 602.

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The ministry announced two new clusters: at a dormitory at 35 Kaki Bukit Place and a dormitory at 40 Kaki Bukit Industrial Terrace.

As of Friday, 461 remain in hospital, including eight in the intensive care unit, while a total of 13,745 are in community facilities.

The average number of new daily community cases has decreased in recent days, from six cases two weeks ago to five in the past week. Unlinked community cases has remained stable at two over the same period.

Of the new cases, 99 per cent are linked to known clusters, and contact tracing is ongoing for the rest.

The NTUC FairPrice at Taman Jurong Shopping Centre has been added to the list of public places visited by Covid-19 patients while they were still infectious.

MOH added the spot to the seven locations on the list that was first provided on Monday (May 25), which previously included supermarkets in Bukit Panjang and Jurong Point, and two markets in Jurong West.

An active case was there on May 20 from 7pm to 8pm. A case was also there on May 22 from 8.30pm to 9pm.

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

They should see a doctor promptly if they develop symptoms, which may include fever, loss of taste or smell, cough, a sore throat and runny nose, MOH has said.

More than 39,000 pre-school staff have been tested as part of the MOH's proactive screening, yielding 13 positive cases as of Friday. The ministry said its tests showed that 12 of these cases were unlikely to be infectious by the time they were tested during the recent screening.

The 13th case is a recent infection. The non-teaching staff was asymptomatic and her close contacts have been placed under quarantine, MOH said.

Singapore has seen 23 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while nine who tested positive have died of other causes.

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