As of Sunday noon (10 May), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed an additional 876 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore.
This brings the total tally of infected cases to 23,336.
There are only 4 cases of community infection (2 Singaporeans/Permanent Residents, 2 Work Passes), 11 cases involving Work Permit holders residing outside dormitories and 860 cases involving Work Permit holders residing in dormitories.
There is 1 imported case today who had been placed on Stay-Home Notice upon arrival in Singapore.
Of the new cases, 98% are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.
Five new clusters identified
- 12 of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to form a new cluster at a construction site at 15 Serangoon North Avenue 1.
- 12 of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to form a new cluster at a construction site at Tanah Merah Coast Road.
- Four of the newly confirmed cases are linked to nine previous cases to form a new cluster at 9 Woodlands Industrial Park E1.
- Six of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to form a new cluster at 11 Woodlands Industrial Park E1.
- 14 of the earlier confirmed cases have now been linked to form a new cluster at 515 Yishun Industrial Park A.
Update on condition of confirmed cases
425 more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, most since the first case was announced. In all, 2,721 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.
There are currently 1,097 confirmed cases who are still in the hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 22 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. 19,498 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.
20 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
Numbers of cases not really coming down
Professor Dale Fisher, senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases in National University Hospital (NUH), told CNA in an interview last month 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.”
Singapore’s constraint in ramping up tests
Singapore is trying its best to scale up its testing capacity from the current 8,000 tests daily to about 40,000 as quickly as possible, but also noted that there is a global shortage of test kits and the materials required to conduct the tests.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, “We have to ensure that we have a continued supply and stock of these materials to allow us to continue and sustain this high level of testing,”
This is in response to Workers’ Party chief (WP) Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) queries on whether if there have been several constraints on Singapore’s testing capacity that prevented more widespread testing earlier on.
Mr Gan also said another constraint lies in the manpower needed to carry out swabbing on patients, as well as for processing, documenting and testing the samples and recording the results.