The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Friday (5 June) 261 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – including a 95-year-old Singaporean woman – bringing the total to 37,183.
The ministry had partly attributed the “lower number” – the lowest daily tally since 13 April – to “fewer swabs being conducted”, but did not elaborate.
It also identified an additional cluster of 13 cases linked to a foreign worker dormitory at 781 Woodlands Avenue 9.
Of the 261 new cases, 250 are foreign workers living in dorms, said the ministry, while 11 others are classified as cases in the community.
Of the 11 community cases, eight are asymptomatic. The ministry said it had swabbed them as part of their proactive surveillance or to verify their statuses during the quarantine period.
Amongst the six local residents – five Singaporeans and one permanent resident – the Singaporeans, aged between 38 to 95, are linked to previously confirmed cases and had already been placed on quarantine.
The 49-year-old male permanent resident, who stays at Cassia @ Penjuru dorm, was proactively tested.
Amongst the five work permit holders, four had been picked up during the ministry’s proactive screening, the MOH said.
Of the four, three men – two Bangladeshis, aged 49 and 35, and one Indian national aged 30 – were tested before they are due to start work in essential services. All three are classified as local unlinked cases.
The fourth man – an Indian national aged 32 – was tested as part of the screening of migrant workers residing at shophouses located at Balestier Road, due to their proximity to another cluster in the same area.
Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the remaining case, identified as a 36-year-old Malaysian man.
Besides the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, or swab tests, serological tests were conducted on the community cases to determine whether they are current or past infections, added the ministry.
“The serological test results of three cases – 36970, 36971, and 36973 – have come back positive, which indicate likely past infections. Results are pending for the rest,” it said.
The three cases the ministry was referring to are the 95-year-old Singaporean woman, a 65-year-old Singaporean woman, and the 32-year-old male Indian national residing at a shophouse located at Balestier Road.
Overall, three per cent of the new cases have no established links.
The MOH noted the number of new cases in the community has increased from an average of five cases per day in the week before to an average of six per day in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two per day in the past two weeks, it added.
Separately, the ministry announced the closure of the cluster linked to Acacia Home at 30 Admiralty Street, as there have been no cases linked to it for the past two incubation periods or 28 days.
Dozens of clusters linked to foreign worker dorms have been identified thus far, including Singapore’s largest cluster of 2,721 cases linked to S11 [email protected], followed by Sungei Tengah Lodge with 2,020 cases, Jurong Penjuru Dormitory with 1,465 cases, and Tuas View Dormitory with 1,391 cases.
The four are among the 25 dorms that have been gazetted as isolation areas and account for some 22 per cent of the total 34,881 infected foreign workers living in dorms.
Some 400,000 such workers live in dorms here in Singapore.
National Development Minister and co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce Lawrence Wong had at a 12 May press conference said that some 20,000 infected foreign workers are expected to be discharged by end-May.
Sign up for COVID-19 Free Coverage
Get our guide to the full list of banks/insurers providing insurance coverage in your email. We’re 99% sure you won’t regret this when COVID-19 fatality rates are at 1%.