May 21, 2020 4:11:04 pm
Singapore on Thursday reported 448 new coronavirus cases, most of them foreign workers living in dormitories, taking the total number of positive cases in the city-state to 29,812.
Thirteen of the new COVID-19 cases are either Singaporeans or permanent residents, said the Health Ministry.
The vast majority of the new cases are foreign workers living in dormitories, the Ministry said in its preliminary daily update. “Of these, seven cases were picked up from our active surveillance and screening of nursing home residents and pre-school staff, and four are part of a family cluster linked to a dormitory. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the other two cases,” the Channel News Asia reported quoting the ministry.
On Wednesday, the Ministry said COVID-19 cases among work permit holders living outside dormitories have been added to the daily count of community cases. These cases were previously listed under a separate category.
A large number of work permit holders were placed on mandatory stay-home notices, but the notices have since expired.
“Hence, we have now updated the definition of ‘cases in the community’ to include all cases (including among work permit holders) who are detected outside of the dormitories,” said the ministry.
The city-state imposed a partial lockdown in early April after it was hit by a second wave of virus infections sparked by foreign workers, many of them Indian nationals, living in crowded dormitories. So far it has reported 29,812 virus cases, among the highest in Asia, but only 22 deaths. It plans to gradually lift restrictions next month.
Singapore will exit its “circuit breaker” period as planned on June 1, with measures to be progressively lifted in three phases from the following day.
The country will also gradually reopen its borders to allow Singaporeans to conduct essential activities abroad and for foreigners to enter and transit through the country.
Travellers will be allowed to transit through Changi Airport from June 2, with measures in place to ensure that passengers remain in designated facilities in the transit area.
As of Wednesday, 11 coronavirus cases were in a critical condition in the intensive care unit and 954 were hospitalised.
Another 17,181 patients are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are cases who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
In all, 11,207 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.
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