SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 66 new COVID-19 cases on Monday (Apr 6), bringing the national total to 1,375, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update.
One of the new cases is imported and the remaining cases are locally transmitted. Twenty-four more patients have been discharged, taking the total number of people who have fully recovered to 344.
Among the local cases, MOH has established links to existing clusters for 35 cases. Of these, 24 are linked to clusters at foreign dormitories and 11 are linked to non-dormitory clusters.
A total of 30 of the new cases are unlinked, and contact tracing is ongoing for these patients.
Of the 571 patients who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving, and 25 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Two new clusters were also identified, according to the ministry.
They are Little Gems Preschool at 3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, and Kranji Lodge at 12 Kranji Road.
Case 1335, one of the newly confirmed cases, is linked to cases 1182 and 1294. These three form the cluster at Little Gems Preschool.
The preschool has been temporarily closed for cleaning and disinfection since Sunday after a teacher tested positive for the coronavirus. The Early Childhood Development Agency said it was informed of the case on Saturday.
She was last at the centre on Mar 31 and contact tracing is ongoing, the agency added.
The closure will last until Apr 14, covering a 14-day incubation period after the staff member last went to the preschool.
The centre will resume limited service on Apr 15 for children of parents who are working in essential services and are unable to extend their alternative care arrangements beyond the closure period, “barring any new developments”.
The Kranji Lodge cluster is made up of three people who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier: Cases 880, 1190 and 1241.
A link between the PCF Sparkletots Preschool @ Fengshan cluster and a family member of the school’s principal, was also uncovered through further epidemiological investigations, MOH said.
The cluster, with 27 confirmed cases, consisted of a family cluster of 11 cases who are family members of the school’s principal, Case 601.
The principal’s family member, Case 566, had travelled to Malaysia on Mar 4 and “was likely infected there”, MOH said.
Case 566 subsequently transmitted the infection to other family members, including Case 601. The rest of the affected staff members of the preschool likely became infected by the principal through a staff meeting, the ministry added.
MORE CASES LINKED TO FOREIGN WORKER DORMS
More cases have been linked to the clusters at two foreign worker dormitories which have been gazetted as isolation areas.
MOH said 25 more cases are linked to the cluster at S11 Dormitory @ Punggol, which has a total of 88 confirmed cases now.
The cluster at Westlite Toh Guan dormitory now has a total of 29 confirmed cases linked to it, after one more case was identified in Monday’s update.
READ: MOM says working to improve conditions for S11 Dormitory, Westlite Toh Guan residents
All 19,800 foreign workers housed at the two dorms would be quarantined in their rooms for the next 14 days, authorities announced on Sunday.
Six more cases are linked to the cluster at Toh Guan Dormitory, which has a total of 14 confirmed cases. The dormitory is located in the vicinity of Westlite Toh Guan.
Beside the above-mentioned three dorms, also reporting more cases linked to their respective clusters are Sungei Tengah Lodge (two more cases, six total), Tampines Dormitory (four more cases, nine total), Cochrane Lodge II (one more case, four total) and a dormitory at 55 Sungei Kadut Loop (one more case, four total).
Two additional cases are linked to the cluster at a construction site at Project Glory, which now has a total of 16 confirmed cases. Another construction site at 6 Battery Road reported an additional case linked to the cluster there, which has five confirmed cases now.
The cluster at Mustafa Centre has 12 more cases linked to it, making its total confirmed cases 40.
Two more cases are linked to the cluster at Keppel Shipyard, with the total at nine cases now.
The cluster at Ce La Vi saw an addition of one case. It now has five cases in total.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that Singapore has been conducting around 2,000 coronavirus tests daily. As of Monday, the country has conducted more than 65,000 tests.
He provided these numbers in a written answer on Monday to a parliamentary question by Nominated Member of Parliament Walter Theseira.
Assoc Prof Theseira had also asked if the Ministry of health will report any other national health statistics relating to COVID-19 to enable researchers to gather “internationally comparable datasets” on the pandemic.
“The Ministry of Health reports the relevant COVID-19 information and statistics regularly to keep Singaporeans updated. We also share information on the number of tests conducted from time to time where relevant,” said Mr Gan in his reply.
THIRD SUPPORT PACKAGE TO SUPPORT SINGAPORE
As part of the country’s ongoing battle against COVID-19, a third support package announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday.
The S$5.1 billion Solidarity Budget is aimed at saving jobs and protecting livelihoods during the four weeks when schools and non-essential businesses have to be shut as part of the “circuit breaker” distancing measures that will kick in from Tuesday.
READ: Solidarity Budget: Singapore spends another S$5.1b to save jobs, protect livelihoods amid impending circuit breaker rules
From Tuesday, most workplaces islandwide will be closed and schools will move to full home-based learning, as announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last week. Only essential services like food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open.
Mr Heng said on Monday the COVID-19 pandemic had “exploded” in Singapore in recent days. To date, Singapore has seen six COVID-19 fatalities.
Singapore has “progressively” ramped up its measures but as the number of infections – especially local transmitted cases – kept rising in recent days, the Government decided to roll out an “extraordinary” set of “circuit breaker” measures to pre-empt the escalation, he said.
This is the first time that the Singapore Government has released three Budgets in less than two months, following the S$6.4 billion Unity Budget in February and the record-breaking S$48 billion Resilience Budget on Mar 26.
To fund this third booster, the Government has sought permission from President Halimah Yacob to draw an additional S$4 billion from past reserves, on top of the S$17 billion tapped for the Resilience Budget.
Altogether, Singapore will be committing S$59.9 billion, or about 12 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), for this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.