15 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including 1 in community and 5 imported

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SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 15 new COVID-19 infections as of noon on Saturday (Sep 19), including one in the community and five imported cases.

This brings the total number of infections in the country to 57,558.

Thirteen of the new cases are asymptomatic and were detected through proactive screening and surveillance, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The sole new community case is a 22-year-old Singaporean man, who is currently unlinked to previous cases. He was detected after being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection.

“Epidemiological investigations of the case are in progress,” said MOH. All identified close contacts have been isolated and placed in quarantine, and will be tested to detect asymptomatic cases. 

MOH will also conduct serological tests for his household contacts to determine if he could have been infected by them.

Two new locations, Hillion Mall in Bukit Panjang and Haniffa at 118 Dunlop Street, were added to a list of places visited by COVID-19 community cases during their infectious period.

UPDATED MAP: All the places that COVID-19 community cases visited while they were infectious

The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of two cases per day in the week before, to an average of one per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of one case per day in the past 2 weeks. 

3 CHILDREN AMONG 5 IMPORTED CASES

There are three children among the five imported cases reported on Saturday.

These include two children, a six-year-old student’s pass holder and a one-year-old long-term visit pass holder, who travelled from India and arrived on Sep 6.

The remaining child is a one-year-old girl who arrived from Iran on Sep 15. She is a dependant’s pass holder.

The other two imported cases are a long-term visit pass holder and a work permit holder.

All imported cases were placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving their notices at dedicated facilities.

NINE CASES IN DORMITORIES

Of the nine COVID-19 cases reported in dormitories on Saturday, six were identified earlier as contacts of previous cases. They had been quarantined to prevent further transmission.

The remaining three cases were detected through surveillance testing.

Another 71 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities after recovering from COVID-19, the ministry said. This brings the total number of recoveries in Singapore to 57,142.

There are 27 cases who are in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving. There is no one in the intensive care unit. 

Another 362 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are patients with mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

Twenty-seven people have died from complications due to COVID-19.

SALIVA TESTS

On Friday, MOH said it is conducting field tests to assess if saliva testing can be scaled for more widespread use in Singapore.

Responding to queries from CNA, the ministry said it has to consider factors such as consistency and integrity of sample collection, the efficiency of laboratory processes and the ability to cater for high volumes of tests via pooled testing.

Currently, most of the samples for COVID-19 tests in Singapore are collected through nasopharyngeal (nose) or oropharyngeal (throat) swabs. 

The State Courts at Havelock Road and a Giant supermarket at Sunshine Place shopping mall were also added on Friday to a list of locations visited by COVID-19 community cases during their infectious period.

READ: MOH conducting field tests to check feasibility of widespread saliva testing for COVID-19

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