Singapore reports 682 new COVID-19 infections; daily new community cases fell in the past week

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 682 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Sunday (May 17), taking the country’s total to 28,038.

A further 998 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 9,340 have fully recovered from the infection, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update. 

There were a total of five community cases: Four Singaporeans and a work pass holder.

One of the Singaporeans, a 24-year-old man, is linked to the CDPL Tuas Dormitory. MOH said 21 additional cases have been linked to the cluster at 6 Tuas South Street 15, which now has a total of 452 confirmed infections. 

The other three Singaporean cases are currently unlinked. 

MOH said the number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of eight cases per day in the week before to an average of three per day in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased, from an average of three cases per day in the week before, to an average of two per day in the past week.

A total of 673 of the new casesare work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, MOH added. 

The ministry said it continues to pick up many more cases among work permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises, as part of its process to verify and test the status of all workers.

Thirteen earlier confirmed cases have also been linked to form a new cluster at 9 Sungei Kadut Avenue.

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Four cases were detected among work permit holders residing outside dormitories.

“Of the four cases, two are flatmates who had been identified as contacts of an earlier confirmed case, and had been placed on quarantine from Apr 29. They were subsequently tested at the end of their quarantine, and were found to be positive for COVID-19. 

“Epidemiological investigations are ongoing for the other two cases,” the ministry said. 

MOH added that the number of new cases among work permit holders residing outside dormitories has decreased, from an average of five cases per day in the week before to an average of two per day in the past week.

MOH said 99 per cent of the new cases are linked to known clusters while the rest are pending contact tracing. Further details can be found in its daily situation report

There are currently 1,210 confirmed COVID-19 cases who are still in hospital. Of these, MOH said most are stable or improving while 16 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

A total of 17,466 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19. 

As previously reported, 22 people have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

As the number of community cases goes down to single digits, authorities have been easing some “circuit breaker” restrictions, such as allowing more businesses to reopen.

However, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong cautioned on Friday that the measures need to be lifted “carefully and slowly”, as the number of COVID-19 community cases was “likely” to increase as some of the measures are rolled back.

“Because if we are not careful, the number of cases will spike up, and you may have big clusters forming again,” he said.

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