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COVID-19: Singapore confirms 31 new cases, 1 preliminarily positive for B117 strain

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
People walking at the central business district in Singapore.
People walking at the central business district in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the detection of 31 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of noon on Wednesday (6 January), taking the country’s total case count to 58,780.

There are two new cases of locally-transmitted infection and 29 imported cases.

Of the new cases, 30 are asymptomatic and one is symptomatic.

The number of new cases in the community has increased from two cases in the week before to 12 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.

Of the two community cases, one is a 24-year-old male Korean national, who is a work permit holder working at Azur at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. His job entails delivering pre-packed meals to air crew and hotel guests. He does not interact with diners at Azur.

He tested positive for a pooled swab during rostered routine testing on 2 January, and was tested again on Monday. On the same day, he started to develop acute respiratory infection symptoms. His individual test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Tuesday, and he was conveyed in an ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection. He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B117 strain, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

The other community case is a 31-year-old male Filipino who arrived from the Philippines on 4 December, and served SHN at a dedicated facility until 18 December. His pre-departure test taken in the Philippines on 1 December was negative for COVID-19 infection, and his test on 14 December during SHN came back negative as well.

He is a work permit holder who is employed by Singapore General Hospital, but has not started work yet. As part of his pre-employment health screening, he was tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday even though he is asymptomatic, and his test came back positive. He was subsequently conveyed to SGH in an ambulance. His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection.

Amongst the 29 imported cases,

• one is a Singaporean and two are Singapore permanent residents who returned from UK and India.

• one is a dependant’s pass holder who arrived from India.

• five are work pass holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and UAE.

• 16 are work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and Myanmar, of whom 12 are foreign domestic workers.

• one is a sea crew holding a special pass who arrived from China on board a vessel. He was swabbed upon arrival in Singapore.

• three are short-term visit pass holders. Two of the cases arrived from the Philippines and Japan respectively for work projects here. They were swabbed upon arrival in Singapore and isolated while awaiting their test results. The other case is here to visit her Singaporean spouse.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 24 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 58,541 cases – or 99.6 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 64 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 146 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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