SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed nine new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Friday (16 October), taking the country’s total cases to 57,901.
All but two of the nine new cases are asymptomatic and were proactively detected, said the MOH.
Of them, one is a case residing in a foreign worker dormitory and was detected through the bi-weekly rostered routine testing of workers living there.
The remaining eight cases are imported, including two Singaporeans who returned from the Philippines. Four are work permit holders currently employed here who arrived from Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.
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All six imported cases have been placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving the notice.
The remaining two imported cases are short-term visit pass holders, said the MOH.
One of them was allowed entry into Singapore from India as he was already receiving medical care here and had returned for further treatment, it added.
The man was conveyed directly to a hospital and isolated upon his arrival here and was tested subsequently.
The other is a crew member of a ship that arrived from Indonesia, said the MOH. The man had not disembarked from the ship, and was swabbed on board after developing symptoms. He had remained on the ship until his test result came back positive for COVID-19 and was then conveyed to a hospital, the ministry added.
The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has remained stable at an average of fewer than one case per day in the past two weeks.
It added that the number of unlinked cases in the community has decreased from an average of fewer than one case per day in the week before, to none in the past week.
Overall, 11 per cent of the new cases have no established links.
The ministry also announced the closure of the cluster at The Jovell construction site – located at 27 Flora Drive – as there are no cases linked to it for the past two incubation periods or 28 days.
More than 450,000 contact-tracing devices will be distributed to all migrant and local workers living or working in dorms, as well as those the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors, said the Ministry of Manpower, Building and Construction Authority and the Economic Development Board in a separate joint press release on Friday.
The distribution of the devices will be carried out in phases from Sunday and is expected to be completed by early November.
These devices, or BluePass tokens, are purpose-built for the dorm and worksite environment, said the authorities.
“They are compact and water-resistant, and can be worn at all times. They will be interoperable with and complement the use of the TraceTogether app on migrant workers’ smartphones, as some workers may not always be carrying their phones at work and at the dorms,” they added.
Authorities also announced the suspension of the work pass privileges of two employers for failing to arrange for their workers to undergo rostered routine testing.
Thus far, the vast majority of about 260,000 workers have undergone or have been scheduled for the routine testing while some 2,200 workers who are required to undergo it have yet to do so.
99% of total cases have recovered; none in ICU
With 20 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Friday, 57,784 cases – or 99.8 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.
Most of the 30 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while none is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
A total of 59 patients with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive are isolated and cared for at community facilities.
Apart from 28 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.
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