As of Friday noon (1 May), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed an additional 932 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore.
MOH further adds that the vast majority of whom are Work Permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. Five cases are Singaporeans/ Permanent Residents.
This brings the total tally of COVID-19 infection case to 17,101.
Cases in the community: 11 (5 Singaporeans/Permanent Residents, 6 Work Passes)
Work Permit holders (residing outside dormitories): 16
Work Permit holders (residing in dormitories): 905
Of the new cases, 70% are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.
16th death from COVID-19 complications
MOH announced the 16th death due to complications from COVID-19 infection as Case 2728, a 60 year-old male Singapore Citizen on 1 May 2020. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 13 April, and had a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. The National Centre for Infectious Diseases has reached out to his family and is extending assistance to them.
Cases from public healthcare sector
Cases 15259 and 15700
Case 15259 is a 28 year-old male Malaysian national, and Case 15700 is a 24 year-old male Malaysian national. Both have no recent travel history to affected countries or regions. They were confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on 28 April. Case 15259 is currently warded at National University Hospital (NUH), and Case 15700 is at Singapore General Hospital.
Both cases are employed as housekeepers at NUH. Case 15700 had not gone to work since onset of symptoms, while Case 15259 had gone to work prior to hospital admission.
Update on condition of confirmed cases
24 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 1,268 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities.
There are currently 1,764 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 23 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 14,053 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. 16 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
Numbers are not coming down
Professor Dale Fisher, a senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases in National University Hospital (NUH), told CNA in an interview last Friday that Singapore is still in the very early stages of sorting out the pandemic as efforts are ramping up.
“The numbers are not really coming down, it is a function of the test,” said Prof Fisher, who also chairs the Singapore National Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) committee.
“For the dormitories, the positivity rate is so high, you get to the point where you don’t need to test any more.
“But let’s just say if you have a clinical respiratory illness … Then you almost certainly have COVID. So we put those into isolation straight away,” he added.
As for whether the figures from the dormitories will be eventually included in the country’s tally, he said: “We should aim to have those clinical diagnoses eventually included in the numbers. I think that honesty is important. And that’s why it will be the case.”
“But there will be a lag because it is a different reporting mechanism,” said Prof Fisher. “Most we still want to test, but it does mean we can focus our efforts on those with less prevalence.”
MOH in its press statement on 27 April noted that Singapore is now able to conduct more than 8,000 tests per day from an average of 2,900 tests per day in early April.