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27 new COVID cases in Singapore, including 1 in community linked to new cluster

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5 min read
A nurse prepares to vaccinate healthcare workers at Gleneagles hospital during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A nurse prepares to vaccinate healthcare workers at Gleneagles hospital during the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 19 January, 2021. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 27 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Wednesday (14 April), taking the country's total case count to 60,719.

One case is a local infection in the community, while the remaining 26 are imported. "Amongst the new cases today, 23 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while four were symptomatic," said the MOH.

Wednesday's sole community case – linked to previous infections – is a 44-year-old male Papua New Guinea national and a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Australia on 25 March for a work project here. 

The man's pre-departure test done in Australia on 23 March was negative for COVID-19, as was his on-arrival test in Singapore on 25 March. 

Thereafter he had remained isolated until another COVID-19 test taken on 27 March came back negative.

"Subsequently, he was on a controlled itinerary, which was largely limited to his place of work and accommodation. Another test done on 31 March also came back negative for COVID-19," said the MOH.

As the man had been identified as a close contact of two cases – both short-term visit pass holders who arrived from Papua New Guinea on 27 March – he was placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility on 1 April. 

His swab done on 2 April during quarantine was negative for COVID-19.

"He is asymptomatic, but another test taken on 12 April during quarantine came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, and he was conveyed to a hospital via an ambulance. His serology test result is pending," added the ministry.

The man has been classified as locally transmitted as he had repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 before 12 April, it said, adding that he was likely to have been infected through his exposure to the two infected short-term visit pass holders during the course of their work.

Together with his fellow infected short-term visit pass holders, the man is linked to the "case 61360" cluster which has a total of four infections. The new cluster is named after the case number of a 50-year-old male Colombian national who arrived from Papua New Guinea for a work project in Singapore and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 30 March.

The two infected short-term visit pass holders were identified as the 50-year-old man's close contacts during their flight to Singapore, said the MOH.

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26 imported cases including 1-year-old girl

Among the 26 imported cases, one is a Singaporean, and four are permanent residents who returned from India and the Philippines.

Another case is a dependant’s pass holder, a one-year-old girl, who arrived from Sri Lanka.

Two others are work pass holders, aged 28 and 29, who arrived from India and Nepal respectively. Both men are among Wednesday's four symptomatic cases.

Seventeen cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia, of whom four are foreign domestic workers. A 34-year-old woman who arrived from India is Wednesday's third symptomatic case.

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who is a sea crew. The 60-year-old man, Wednesday's fourth symptomatic case, arrived from the Philippines to board a vessel in Singapore and had remained onboard until he developed symptoms and was conveyed to a hospital.

All 26 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested for COVID-19.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at two per week in the past two weeks. The number of unlinked cases in the community has decreased from two in the week before to one in the past week.

Last Sunday, a 23-year-old Indian migrant worker who completed his COVID-19 vaccination doses in February was confirmed as a local case in Singapore.

99% of total cases have recovered, 2 in ICU

With 18 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 60,392 cases – or 99.5 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 61 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two of them are in the intensive care unit.

A total of 236 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 30 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Among the 165 confirmed cases reported from 8 to 14 April, 63 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 72 have tested negative, and 30 serology test results are pending.

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