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COVID-19: Singapore confirms 17 new cases, all imported

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
SINGAPORE, Dec. 14, 2020 -- A woman visits the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Dec. 14, 2020. Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday that Singapore will enter Phase 3 of re-opening on Dec. 28. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey via Getty Images)
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (PHOTO: Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 17 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Saturday (19 December), taking the country’s total to 58,403.

All of the cases are imported who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or isolated upon arrival in Singapore. Amongst them, 15 are asymptomatic, while two are symptomatic.

There are no new cases of locally-transmitted infection.

Amongst the 17 imported cases, one is a Singaporean and two are Singapore permanent residents who returned from the UK, India and US.

Another eight are work permit holders currently employed in Singapore who arrived from Indonesia and India. The remaining six cases are short-term visit pass holders. Of these, two arrived from the UK and India to visit their family members who are Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents.

Three are crew members of a ship which arrived from Indonesia. They had not disembarked from the ship and were tested onboard and subsequently conveyed to the hospital when their results came back positive for COVID-19 infection. The remaining case arrived from Malaysia for a work project in Singapore.

13 cases who served SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore

MOH is investigating 13 cases of COVID-19 infection who had served SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between 22 October and 11 November. The cases, who were confirmed between 2 November and 11 November to have COVID-19 infection, were observed to have high genetic similarity despite having arrived from different countries.

“From MOH’s preliminary investigations, we cannot exclude that transmissions could have occurred at Mandarin Orchard Singapore,” the ministry said.

As a precautionary measure, the hotel has stopped accepting new guests and is checking out existing guests progressively.

Persons serving SHN will be transported via dedicated vehicles to an alternative SHN dedicated facility. Deep cleaning and disinfection will be carried out by the hotel, in consultation with MOH and the National Environment Agency.

MOH has begun a special testing operations to test around 500 staff of the hotel for COVID-19 infection. Most of those who are currently serving SHN at Mandarin Orchard Singapore have been tested, and are pending the results of their tests.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Monday that Singapore’s Phase 3 reopening will begin on 28 December as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to ease with a fall in the number of locally transmitted cases.

99% of total cases have recovered

With nine more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Saturday, 58,274 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 38 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and none are in the intensive care unit.

A total of 62 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 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.

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