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12 new COVID cases in Singapore, including one in community

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
A security officer seen wearing a face mask outside the Funan Mall on Monday (27 January). (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
A security officer seen wearing a face mask outside the Funan Mall on Monday (27 January). (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 12 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (26 March), taking the country's total case count to 60,265.

One case is a local infection in the community – the first in two weeks – while the remaining 11 are imported.

"Amongst the new cases today, 11 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while one was symptomatic," said the MOH.

The sole community case – currently unlinked – is a 26 year-old Myanmar woman who is a foreign domestic worker.

She arrived from Myanmar on 23 January and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until 6 February. Her test taken on 5 February during the notice was negative for COVID-19.

Following her notice, the woman moved into a boarding house for foreign domestic workers while waiting for deployment to an employer, and had not left the boarding house from 6 February to 23 March.

She developed a cough and runny nose on 23 March night, the same day she started work at her employer’s residence. The woman sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic the next day and was tested for COVID-19.

Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day, and she was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance.

"Another test conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory on 25 March was negative for COVID-19, and her serological test result has come back positive," said the MOH.

The ministry added that she could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection, "but given that we are not able to definitively conclude that she had been infected before her arrival in Singapore, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure".

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, while all the identified close contacts of the case, including her contacts at the boarding house and employer’s residence, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period.

Serological tests will also be conducted for her close contacts to determine if the woman could have been infected by them.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from none in the week before to one in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from none in the week before to one in the past week.

Separately, two places were added to a list of public venues visited by COVID-19 community cases while they were infectious. They are maid agency Nation at 201E Tampines Street 23 and FoodCity coffeeshop at 139 Tampines Street 11. The former was visited on 23 and 25 March – from 11am to 5.15pm and 10am to 12.25pm, respectively – while the latter was visited on 25 March from 9.15am to 9.45am.

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11 imported cases, including eSport event crew member

Among the 11 imported cases, two are Singaporeans who returned from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Another is a work pass holder who arrived from the Philippines, while six others are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India and the Philippines.

One case is a student’s pass holder who arrived from India for studies in Singapore.

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Romania as part of an eSport event crew.

All imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested while serving the notice or during isolation.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 17 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 60,103 cases – or 99.7 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 27 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while one of them is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 105 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.

Amongst the 98 confirmed cases reported from 20 to 26 March, 31 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 47 have tested negative, and 20 serology test results are pending.

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