Many more coronavirus cases detected in dorms as MOH steps up testing

Many more coronavirus cases detected in dorms as MOH steps up testing

The Straits Times·2020-04-21 05:00

Workers living in dormitories made up 96 per cent of the 1,426 cases announced yesterday, as extensive testing in dormitories continued to turn up cases among workers who are well.Of the new daily high of 1,426 cases, 1,369 were work permit holders living in dormitories.The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that it was picking up many more cases because of the testing in dorms."These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive," it said."Most of these cases have a mild illness and are being monitored in the community isolation facilities or general ward of our hospitals. None of them is in the intensive care unit."There were three new coronavirus clusters identified yesterday. Two of them were linked to accommodation for foreign workers, and all were identified after previously confirmed cases were linked to them: Jurong Apartments at 529 Upper Jurong Road was linked to three confirmed cases, and Woodlands Lodge II was linked to 11 confirmed cases.According to the Building and Construction Authority website, 8 Sungei Kadut Loop is the address of construction company King Wan Construction. It was linked to nine cases yesterday.There were also cases added to most of the other dormitory clusters, with the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol continuing to be the biggest cluster. Some 469 additional cases were linked to the cluster, and it now had 1,977 cases. The cluster alone accounted for nearly 25 per cent of the 8,014 cases in Singapore.Outside of dormitories, MOH said there were 25 new cases in the community among Singaporeans, permanent residents and work pass holders, and 32 new cases among work permit holders who did not live in dorms. There were no imported cases yesterday. Of the new cases, 63 per cent were linked to known clusters.The numbers reinforced the differences in the outbreak among the workers in dorms and the rest of the population.MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community had decreased to an average of 29 per day in the past week, from an average of 39 cases per day in the week before. Meanwhile, the number of unlinked cases in the community had remained relatively constant, with an average of 20 cases per day in the past two weeks.The number of new cases among work permit holders outside dorms, however, had shot up to an average of 24 per day in the past week, from an average of 13 cases per day in the week before. The numbers for workers in dorms were much higher.As of yesterday, the prevalence of positive cases in the community was 0.02 per cent, but it was 0.05 per cent among the 664,000 workers not living in dorms and 1.9 per cent among the 323,000 workers living in dorms.MOH also said 33 more cases had been discharged from hospitals and isolation facilities. Since January, 801 patients had fully recovered and been discharged. Eleven had died.Of the 3,420 confirmed cases who were still in hospital, most were stable or improving while 23 were in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

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