Retired army regular officer Clement Puah Neo took to his Facebook on Wednesday (10 June) to share an image of a graph depicting the number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed daily by the Ministry of Health (MOH) from 1 to 9 June, which showed a downturn in the number of new cases per day.

From 2 to 4 June, there were upwards of 500 new cases announced each day. However, on 5 June, there were only 261 new cases. After that, the number of new cases per day stayed below 500 at 344 new cases on 6 June, 383 on 7 June, 389 on 8 June, 218 on 9 June, and 451 on 10 June.

The image noted that the MOH had stated that the lower number of new cases per day was due to fewer swabs being conducted.

Specifically, the Ministry said in its 5 June update, “The lower number of cases today is partly due to fewer swabs being conducted.” The Ministry, however, did not provide further explanation in the update on why fewer tests were being conducted.

When a similar drop in daily cases occurred on 11 May – 486 new cases which at the time, was significantly lower than the daily reports from preceding days – the MOH noted then that the lower numbers were partly due to fewer tests being processed at the laboratory as one of the test kits was being recalibrated.

Coming back to the image shared by Mr Puah Neo yesterday, a connection was made which infers that fewer tests being conducted means fewer confirmed cases. This notion was described as “common sense”.

It went on, “From an average of about 370 new cases in the preceding 3 days, it appears that the sudden drop to 218 new cases [on 9 June] is likely due to fewer tests conducted.”

“It would do well for MOH to be transparent instead of conducting fewer tests to achieve a lower figure for confirmed cases.”

Mr Puah Neo, in his caption accompanying the image, demanded to know how many tests are being conducted each day now.

He wrote, “Can Singapore and true blue Singaporeans be told how many tests are now being done please?”

“I believe that’s a most reasonable request from a concerned Singaporean who gave 30 years of his life including all of his youth serving the nation and contributing to the well-being of Singapore!”

Taskforce has consistently emphasised that testing capacity is increasing

Interestingly, the multi ministry taskforce has repeatedly stated that Singapore is increasing its testing capacity.

On 27 April, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong remarked,  “Our testing capacity for migrant workers is about 3,000 a day. We have not reduced it. Instead we have been increasing the capacity of testing of our migrant workers. The rate of testing has not slowed.”

On the same day, the MOH said in a statement, “To date, Singapore has tested about 2,100 per 100,000 persons.”

Later on 19 May, the MOH’s director of medical services Associate Professor Kenneth Mak noted in a briefing that over 281,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted so far on 191,000 unique individuals.

However, according to data collated by statistics site Our World in Data, Singapore has only conducted an average of 7.6 tests for each confirmed case since the COVID-19 outbreak started. This is compared to 18 test in Japan, 84.9 in South Korea, and 250.4 tests in New Zealand.

According to Our World in Data, Singapore’s test numbers are based on reports from the MOH on the number of people that have been tested and the number of swab tests that have been conducted, both of which the Ministry started reporting on 10 April.

The site noted that countries with very few tests per confirmed case are unlikely to be testing widely enough to find all cases.

Ultimately, Mr Puah Neo’s question pretty much stands; can the Government say how many tests are being done and how many are being processed each day?

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Fast-food café at Jurong Point suspended for two weeks for cockroaches and rodents infestation

National Environment Agency (NEA) has announced that it will be suspending the…

从武汉撤回两父子确诊 马国累计12起新冠病例

邻国马来西亚新型冠状病毒确诊病例增至12起,根据马国卫生部文告,此前从中国武汉撤离的马国公民,其中两名父子证实确诊。 马国是在本月4日,从武汉撤回该国133名公民。而确诊的45岁和9岁华裔父子,尽管抵达吉隆坡国际机场时未出现任何症状,不过后来到隔离中心检验时,却对新冠病毒呈阳性反应。 昨日,邻国马来西亚卫生部长祖基菲里证实,马国出现首宗人传人病例,一名41岁男子,于上月16日到新加坡出席会议,回国后出现症状,一周后即本月3日,获证实感染新冠病毒。该名男子出席上月16日至23日,在君悦大酒店(Grand Hyatt Hotel)举行的会议,与会者也包括中国籍代表。 目前马国九起确诊病例为中国公民,以及三起病例涉及本地国民。马国目前已宣布暂停发放签证给武汉、湖北旅客。不过暂未扩大至禁所有中国游客入境。 另一方面,马国卫生总监拿督诺希山昨晚(4日)宣布一起治愈病例,此前确诊的中国籍四岁女童获准出院。

WP fully supports the multi-ministry task force efforts on the “serious and concerning” Wuhan virus outbreak

The Worker’s Party (WP) gives its full support during this “trying period”…

Chee Soon Juan addresses party members

The SDP’s Sec-Gen, Dr Chee Soon Juan, addressing party cadres at the…