Coronavirus: 10 more patients in S'pore discharged; 1 new case linked to woman who had dengue

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons / Joey Foo

Ten more patients who had the coronavirus disease have been discharged, the highest number since Singapore reported its first case on Jan 23.

There is one new confirmed case, bringing the total number infected to 86, the Health Ministry (MOH) said on Friday (Feb 21).

Of the total cases, 47 - more than half - have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Most of the 39 confirmed cases who are still hospitalised are stable or improving.

Five are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, one more than the day before.

Asked about whether the new high of discharged cases could point to a positive trend, an MOH spokesman said Singapore’s numbers need to be put into the context of global efforts to fight the virus.

Even if the country manages to contain the outbreak and others do not, there is always a chance that the coronavirus can be “reseeded” into Singapore again, he said.

“So it’s a little bit hard for me to tell you, even if the numbers come down... That we’re actually free of the virus,” he added.

“As long as it exists somewhere in the world, we always have to be vigilant. And it’d be a bit premature to say we won the battle against this virus.”

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The new case announced on Friday is a 24-year-old Singaporean man linked to Case 82, a 57-year-old woman who is Singapore's only known patient with both dengue and the coronavirus disease, known as Covid-19.

He had no recent travel history to China, and, like Case 82, is now warded at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

He first reported symptoms last Friday (Feb 14), and saw two separate general practitioners on Sunday and Tuesday before going to the hospital the next day, where he was immediately isolated.

He was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Thursday (Feb 20).

Before he was warded, he stayed at Bukit Batok East and was a student at the Singapore Institute of Technology. But he has not gone back to school since he had symptoms, said MOH. 

Asked whether there is a chance of Singapore shifting its disease outbreak response status back to yellow anytime soon, given the high number of patients discharged, the MOH spokesman said he could not comment.

Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (Dorscon) level has been at orange for two weeks, since Feb 7.

Orange means the disease is severe with transmission, but is generally contained, and has moderate to high public health impact.

Yellow refers either to a mild infection, or a severe infection that is not spreading here, but about which the community needs to be careful.

As of noon on Friday, MOH has identified 2,696 close contacts, with 1,122 currently quarantined. Another 1,574 have completed their quarantine.

MOH also gave more details on Case 85, a 36-year-old Chinese national and work pass holder.

He had no recent travel history to China and is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

Before he was admitted to hospital, he mostly stayed at a rental apartment at Woodlands Avenue 6.

With 22 cases, Grace Assembly of God remains the largest cluster.

Other clusters so far are the Life Church and Missions Singapore, the Yong Thai Hang health products shop, the Grand Hyatt Singapore and a Seletar Aerospace Heights construction site.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.