As of 3 May 2020, 12pm, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed an additional 657 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore.
This brings the total tally in Singapore to 18,205 cases.
MOH shared that the vast majority of whom are Work Permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories. and there are ten cases from the community (Singaporeans/ Permanent Residents), many of whom are linked cases.
Further updates will be shared via the MOH press release that will be issued tonight.
According to MOH, the number of cases amongst migrant workers has been fluctuating in recent days due to clearance of backlogged cases by one laboratory. MOH is said that it is working with the laboratory to stabilise its operations.
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.