Singapore reports 528 new cases of COVID-19, taking total to 14,951

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore reported 528 new COVID-19 cases as of noon yesterday, bringing the national total to 14,951. The vast majority of the new cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its preliminary update.

Eight of the new cases are Singaporeans or permanent residents.

“We are still working through the details of the cases and further updates will be shared via the MOH press release that will be issued tonight,” the ministry added. Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Monday that scaling up the capacity to test for COVID-19 will be a “key enabler” for Singapore to move beyond the “circuit breaker” period.

He added that authorities are starting to more regularly test workers in the essential sectors and frontline officers who come into close contact with confirmed cases. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Monday noted that the continued presence of unlinked cases means there is still underlying COVID-19 transmission in the community that has not been detected.

“Even as we remove the circuit breaker measures, we need to do it progressively. We need to do so in a safe way to prevent the resurgence of new cases and new clusters, which will be another problem again,” said Gan.