COVID-19: Singapore confirms 14 new cases, all imported

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·4-min read
Health staffs prepare polymerase chain reaction test-kit for guests at the Connect@Changi.
Health staffs prepare polymerase chain reaction test-kit for guests at the Connect@Changi. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 14 new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore on Friday (19 February), taking the country's total case count to 59,846.

There are no new cases of locally-transmitted infection. Of the 14 imported cases, 13 were not required to undergo mandatory on-arrival serology tests upon arrival.

The remaining case tested positive for her on-arrival serology test, but as authorities are unable to definitively conclude that she was no longer infectious when she arrived in Singapore, all the necessary public health actions will be taken as a precautionary measure, said the MOH.

"Amongst the new cases today, 13 are asymptomatic, and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while one was symptomatic," it added.

Amongst the 14 imported cases, one is a 32-year old female permanent resident – Friday's sole symptomatic case –who returned from Indonesia. Three others are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India and Indonesia.

Another three cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and Malaysia, of whom one is a foreign domestic worker.

Three cases are special pass holders who are sea crew. They arrived from Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. They had not disembarked from their vessels and were tested onboard.

The remaining four cases are work pass holders who arrived from India, Nepal, and the United Arab Emirates.

One of the work pass holders arrived from India on 30 December last year and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until 3 January this year. The 48-year-old man had been identified as a close contact of case 58944 – a 65-year-old short-term pass holder who arrived from India to visit his Singaporean child and was confirmed as a case on 2 January.

As such, the younger man was quarantined from 3 to 13 January.

His swabs done on 4 and 10 January during his quarantine were negative for COVID-19. He was detected as a case when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on 17 February in preparation for his return to India.

His test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day with a very high Ct value, which was indicative of a low viral load. Another sample taken on 18 February tested negative for COVID-19 and his serological test result has also come back positive.

"Given that these indicate likely past infection, we have classified the case as imported. He is likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others," said the MOH.

All imported cases on Friday were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving the notice.

The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from eight in the week before to one in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from five in the week before to one in the past week.

99% of total cases have recovered, 1 in ICU

With 18 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Thursday, 59,697 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 20 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit.

A total of 100 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from 29 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four, whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.

Amongst the 69 confirmed cases reported from 13 to 19 February, 44 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 10 have tested negative, and 15 serology test results are pending.

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