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COVID-19 Update: Singapore reports 106 new cases of, with 52 linked to existing clusters

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Singapore reported 106 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday (Apr 7), bringing the national total to 1,481, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update. 

Three of the new cases are imported. No new clusters were identified on Tuesday, but of the locally transmitted cases, 52 have been traced to known clusters while 10 are linked to other cases. 

A total of 39 cases are linked to clusters at foreign worker dormitories. Contact tracing is still pending for 41 cases.

MOH also announced that 33 more patients have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In total, 377 patients have fully recovered from the virus.

Of the 627 patients still in hospital, 29 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Most are stable or improving, MOH said.

Affected Healthcare Workers

The details of three more public healthcare workers afflicted with the virus emerged on Tuesday as well.

Case 1315, a 22-year-old Singaporean nurse working at the Singapore General Hospital, reported symptoms on Apr 4, but had not gone to work since the onset. She had no recent travel history to affected countries or regions.

She was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Apr 5. She is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Case 1376 is a Singaporean woman who had not travelled recently to affected places either. The 35-year-old nurse at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital reported symptoms on Apr 5 and was tested positive for COVID-19 the next day. She had gone to work for a “few hours” on the day of the onset of symptoms, MOH said.

She is currently warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

Case 1385 is a 61 year-old Singaporean woman with no recent travel history to affected countries or regions. She is a healthcare assistant at Hougang Polyclinic, but had not gone into work since her onset of symptoms on Apr 1. Test results later confirmed she had COVID-19 on Apr 6.

She is currently warded in an isolation room at the Singapore General Hospital.

As of Apr 7, MOH as identified 17,819 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 4,618 are currently quarantined, and 13,201 have completed their quarantine.

More Links Uncovered

There were more cases found to be linked to dormitories in Singapore.

There were 10 more cases at the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, which now has a total of 98 confirmed cases.

At the Westlite Toh Guan dormitory, five additional cases were found to be linked to this cluster. There are a total of 34 confirmed cases here now.

Four additional cases were linked to the cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory, which has a total of 18 confirmed cases now. The dormitory is a newly declared isolation area.

The Sungei Tengah Lodge had 12 new cases linked to the cluster, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 18.

At the Tampines Dormitory cluster, eight additional cases were found, bringing the total there to 17.

In total, six more cases were linked to the Cochrane Lodge I and Cochrane Lodge II clusters, both in Admiralty Road West. Both places have a total of 12 confirmed cases.

There were three more links to the cluster at a construction site at Project Glory, which has a total of 21 confirmed cases now.

Seven additional cases were linked to the cluster at Mustafa Centre, which now has a total of 45 confirmed cases.

Three more cases were linked to the cluster at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, which now has a total of 16 cases.

Writing on Facebook early Wednesday morning, the home’s administrator Then Kim Yuan said all residents were tested for COVID-19. Three tested positive for the virus and were transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

“We have reached out to their loved ones and are keeping them updated of the situation,” he said.

“We would like to assure everyone that we did a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the areas again last night. 

“Another round of deep cleaning by an external vendor was also conducted as part of our containment strategy today. We will continue to work hard to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our home.

“We are also continuing to monitor the health of our residents at our home. Their health and safety remain our number one priority.”

He also thanked people for their support and encouragement during “this difficult period”.

“With your support, we are striving our best to ensure the well-being of our residents,” he said. 

Circuit Breaker Measures Begin

A month-long “circuit breaker” initiative to break the transmission cycle of COVID-19 took effect on Tuesday. All workplaces in Singapore except for those providing essential services, such as supermarkets, have been ordered shut. The nearly 5,000 restaurants in Singapore are also only allowed to provide takeaway and delivery services until May 4. 

On Tuesday, a man was charged for breaching his stay-home notice to deliver newspapers – the first charging of its kind. For breaching the order, he could be jailed for six months, fined up to S$10,000 or both.

Bill Allowing Special GE Arrangements

On Tuesday, a Bill was introduced in Parliament allowing for special arrangements to be made should a General Election (GE) be held amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Introducing the Parliamentary Elections (COVID-19 Special Arrangements) Bill on Tuesday, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the Bill forms part of the Elections Department’s contingency planning for the next GE, which has to be held by Apr 14, 2021. 

“It is not related to the timing of the General Election. The Prime Minister will decide when to call the election, taking into account the challenges confronting our country, including the evolving COVID-19 situation,” ​​​​he said.

“The Government is fully focused on tackling COVID-19. Our immediate priorities include helping affected Singaporeans and companies, and implementing the circuit breaker measures to slow down the outbreak.” 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said previously that the timing of the next GE depends “on the situation, and the outlook” of the pandemic.

“We have two choices. Either hope and pray that things will stabilise before the end of the term so that we can hold elections under more normal circumstances – but we have no certainty of that,” he wrote on Facebook on Mar 14.

“Or else call elections early, knowing that we are going into a hurricane, to elect a new government with a fresh mandate and a full term ahead of it, which can work with Singaporeans on the critical tasks at hand.”

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