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34 new COVID cases in Singapore, including 2 in community

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·6-min read
People seen taking a selfie around the Marina Bay area. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
People seen taking a selfie around the Marina Bay area. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 34 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (16 April), taking the country's total case count to 60,769.

Two of them are local transmissions within the community, while the remaining 32 are imported.

Friday marks the highest number of daily reported community cases since 3 March, when two community cases were confirmed by the MOH.

"Amongst the new cases today, 31 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while three were symptomatic," said the ministry.

One of Friday's community case is a 44-year-old Indonesian man. The short-term visit pass holder had arrived from Indonesia on 28 February as caregiver to his father who was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had returned for further treatment for a condition that is not related to COVID-19.

The younger man's pre-departure test done in Indonesia on 26 February was negative for COVID- 19, as was his test taken in Singapore on 1 March, said the MOH. 

He served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until 14 March, and his test the day before was also negative for COVID-19.

The man is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on 14 April in preparation for his return to Indonesia. 

His test result came back positive on the same day, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to a hospital. His serology test result is pending, said the MOH.

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2nd community case a senior NUS research fellow 

Friday's second community case is a 34-year-old male Indian national. The work pass holder is a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore but had only gone to work for one day on 12 April, when he had an onset of symptoms in the evening while at work.

The man had travelled to India from 28 December last year to 21 March, and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility upon his return here. 

"His pre-departure test done in India on 19 March was negative for COVID-19, and he again tested negative for his on-arrival swab in Singapore on 21 March," said the MOH.

While he was serving his notice, he had been identified as a close contact of a 33-year-old male compatriot and work permit holder – who was confirmed as a case on 24 March – during their flight to Singapore. The older man was subsequently placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility from 24 March to 11 April. 

"His tests done during quarantine on 25 March, 3 April and 10 April were all negative for COVID-19 infection," said the MOH.

The man developed fatigue on the evening of 12 April, a sore throat and body aches on 13 April, and a fever on 14 April. 

He stayed at home from 13 April, and only left his residence to seek medical treatment at a polyclinic on 14 April, where he was tested for COVID-19. 

"His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, and he was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance. His serology result has come back negative, indicating that this is a current infection," said the MOH.

The ministry noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from two in the week before to four in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two in the week before to three in the past week.

The previous confirmed community case 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. He is linked to a new "case 61360" cluster which has a total of four infections.

Separately, the MOH on Friday added two places to a list of public venues visited by community cases while they are infectious. 

Chinatown Point was visited on 3 April from 2.25pm to 4.15pm and National University of Singapore Information Technology's Techno Edge Canteen was visited on 12 April from 1230pm to 1pm.

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32 imported cases, including six-year-old girl

Of Friday's imported case, three are Singaporeans and six are permanent residents – including a nine-year-old boy – who returned from India, Myanmar and the Philippines. A 42-year-old male PR and a 44-year-old female PR who both arrived from India are among Friday's three symptomatic cases.

Four others are dependant’s pass holders – including a six-year-old girl – who arrived from India and the Netherlands, while another is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India.

Sixteen cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Myanmar, of whom two are foreign domestic workers.

The remaining two are short-term visit pass holders, including one who arrived from France for a work project here. Another short-term visit pass holder arrived from India to visit his family member who is a Singaporean.

All 32 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival here and were tested for COVID-19.

99% of total cases have recovered, 2 in ICU

With 29 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 60,446 cases – or 99.5 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 51 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while two of them are in the intensive care unit.

A total of 242 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 168 confirmed cases reported from 10 April to 16 April, 54 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 77 have tested negative, and 37 serology test results are pending.

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