COVID-19: Singapore confirms 28 new cases, new vessel cluster with 9 infections

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4 min read
Pedestrians walking along a promenade in Singapore.
Pedestrians walking along a promenade in Singapore. (PHOTO: Vivek Prakash/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the detection of 28 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of noon on Tuesday (5 January), taking the country’s total case count to 58,749.

There are two new cases of locally-transmitted infection while the remaining 26 are imported who had already been placed on Stay-Home Notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Of the new cases, 26 are asymptomatic and the other two are symptomatic.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from one case in the week before to 11 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from one case in the week before to four cases in the past week.

One of the community cases is a 49-year-old male Indian national and a short-term visit pass holder who is here to visit his Singaporean spouse. He arrived from India on 10 December, and served SHN at a dedicated facility until 24 December. His pre-departure test taken in India on 6 December was negative for COVID-19 infection, and his test on 21 December during SHN came back negative as well.

He is asymptomatic, and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on 3 January in preparation for his return to India. His result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day and he was conveyed to Mount Elizabeth Hospital. His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection.

The other community case is a 55-year-old Singaporean man who works as a cargo officer. He was on board bunker tanker NewOcean 6 from 21 December to 23 December, and from 28 December to 2 January. From 23 December to 28 December, he stayed at his home at Tah Ching Road.

His earlier tests from Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) – the last being on 23 December – had been negative for COVID-19 infection. On 31 December, he was placed on quarantine as he had been identified as a close contact of a previously reported case who is a crew member of the same vessel.

He was conveyed to a government quarantine facility on 2 January, and tested positive for COVID-19 infection on 3 January. He was then conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection.

All the remaining crew members of the vessel have been placed on quarantine since 31 December. All the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

Amongst the 26 imported cases,

• two are Singaporeans and two are Singapore permanent residents who returned from US, UK and India.

• two are work pass holders who arrived from UAE.

• 20 are Work Permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, of whom 13 are foreign domestic workers.

Five of the imported cases – all male work permit holders from Indonesia – are crew of NewOcean 6 who had boarded the vessel in March or September last year. They were all placed on quarantine on 31 December, and conveyed to a government quarantine facility on 2 January. They were tested positive for COVID-19 infection on 4 January. Prior to that, they had not disembarked from the vessel.

These five cases and the 55-year-old Singaporean man together with three previous cases formed a NewOcean 6 cluster.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 20 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 58,517 cases – or 99.6 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 60 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 143 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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