Record 447 new coronavirus cases in S'pore, of which 404 are linked to dormitories

Dormitories continue to make up the vast majority of new cases. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - New Covid-19 cases hit another daily high on Wednesday (April 15), with the Ministry of Health announcing 447 new cases.

This brings the country's total cases to 3,699 as of noon on Wednesday. There were 41 more cases discharged, bringing the total number of those recovered to 652.

Dormitories continue to make up the vast majority of new cases. A total of 404 of the 447 new cases are work permit holders residing in dormitories.

There were another three new clusters at dormitories and new cases at nearly all existing dormitory clusters. The S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, Singapore's largest cluster, added another 74 cases, bringing the total to 797.

A fourth new cluster was also announced on Wednesday - a building of shophouses located at 234 Balestier Road that is linked to foreign workers.

With Wednesday's cases, there are now at least 1,800 people linked to dormitories who have tested positive for the virus, or nearly half of all coronavirus cases in Singapore.

So far, 17 out of the 43 purpose-built dormitories here have been reported as virus clusters, with several other clusters linked to factory-converted dormitories.

Five of the new cases are work permit holders living outside dormitories.

There were 38 new local cases in the community on Wednesday and the MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has remained stable in the past two weeks, with an average of 36 cases per day.

However, it added that the number of new cases among work permit holders has increased significantly from 48 cases per day in the week before this to 260 cases per day in the past week. This is in part because of efforts to undertake more active testing of the workers.

Of the new cases, 68 per cent are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

No imported cases have been announced since April 10.

MOH also said that an 80-year-old Malaysian man died in Singapore on Tuesday and later tested positive for the coronavirus after his death. But MOH said that the patient did not die from causes related to Covid-19.

The Early Childhood Development Agency also said there had been another case involving a preschool. A member of the teaching staff at Learning Vision @ Work at Lower Kent Ridge Road has tested positive. The staff member was last at the school on April 9.

As a precaution the school will be closed from today till April 23, and all affected staff members and children will be placed on a leave of absence during this period.

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It will reopen on April 24 to serve parents who are working in essential services and unable to find alternative care arrangements.

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