Singapore sees daily high of 942 new cases

SINGAPORE (CNA) – A record of 942 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon yesterday, its Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a media release.

The “vast majority” of these are work permit holders living in foreign worker dormitories, it said.

Of the new cases, 14 are Singaporeans and permanent residents, as the ministry noted that the number of local cases continues to decline.

“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,” said the ministry.

A large proportion of Singapore’s COVID-19 cases can be traced to foreign worker dormitories, which have seen a surge in confirmed cases recently.

A dormitory used by foreign workers has been made an isolation area to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Singapore. PHOTO: AFP

Thirteen of such dormitories have been gazetted as an isolation area to prevent the spread of the virus.

The ministry on Friday flagged concern over unlinked cases of COVID-19 in Singapore, saying that tests on a sample of individuals at primary care facilities have picked up several positive diagnoses, which indicate “undetected cases in the community”.

Primary care facilities in Singapore include polyclinics and general practitioner clinics.

Singapore on Friday reported 623 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death, taking its total to 5,050 infections and 11 fatalities.

“We are particularly concerned that it is increasingly difficult to link the new cases and identify the source of infection,” said the ministry.

“In fact, the number of unlinked cases in the community has increased slightly, from an average of 19 cases per day in the week before, to an average of 22 per day in the past week,” it added.

The ministry also said that an on-going surveillance programme on a small sample of patients at primary care facilities has revealed several positive cases.

“We have picked up some cases through these tests, which is an indication of undetected cases in the community,” it said. No further information was provided by MoH.

Singapore has imposed a range of ‘circuit breaker’ measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, including closing non-essential workplaces and schools.

The one-month circuit breaker period will be in place until May 4.