COVID-19: 5 community cases result in 2 new clusters, 'special' tests linked to 2 marine workers

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4 min read
A light projection at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in place of fireworks for the New Year's Eve celebration.
A light projection at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in place of fireworks for the New Year's Eve celebration. (PHOTO: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed the detection of 30 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (31 December), taking the country’s total case count to 58,599.

There are five new cases of locally-transmitted infection, all from the community – the most reported in a single day since eight new cases from the community were reported on 30 August. The remaining 25 cases are imported.

Of the new community cases, two are family members of an earlier case. On Wednesday, the MOH reported the sole community case is a Singapore permanent resident (PR) who works as a marine surveyor at Lloyd’s Register Singapore. His work entails working onboard vessels docked at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard.

One family member is a 46-year-old female Singapore PR who works as a freelance florist at her place of residence at Ghim Moh Road. The other family member, a 14-year-old Singapore PR, is a student of Raffles Girls’ School, and her last day in school was on 23 December.

Another new community case is a 55-year-old Singaporean man who works as a harbour pilot at PSA Marine. His work entails going onboard vessels to navigate them through congested waters.

The remaining two new community cases are relatives of the Singaporean man. One is a 79-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree and the other is a 50-year-old Singaporean man who is currently unemployed. The three cases are residing at Marine Crescent.

The marine surveyor and his family members, and the harbour pilot and his relatives have been classified as two separate new COVID-19 clusters.

As a result of the five community cases announced on Thursday, the MOH will start a special testing operation to test individuals who had boarded the vessels worked on by the marine surveyor and the harbour pilot.

“The recent community cases are a stark reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down, especially during this festive period when there are increased social interactions. We must remain disciplined in adhering to the safe management and safe distancing measures. Let us work together to avoid an uncontrolled resurgence of cases which could slow or even reverse our progress,” the MOH said.

Imported cases

Amongst the 25 imported cases,

• two are Singaporeans and three are Singapore PRs who returned from the UK, Indonesia and India.

• two are work pass holders who arrived from the Philippines and India.

• 14 are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Philippines and Myanmar, of whom nine are foreign domestic workers.

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

• one is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India.

• one is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her Singaporean spouse.

• one is a special pass holder who is a crew member of a ship which arrived from Hong Kong. He had not disembarked from the ship until he was conveyed to a quarantine facility after being identified as a close contact of an overseas case.

They had all already been placed on SHN or isolated upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving SHN or under isolation.

99% of total cases have recovered

With 38 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Wednesday, 58,449 cases – or 99.7 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 57 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 64 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.

Singapore entered Phase 3 of reopening on Monday.

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