Covid-19: 23rd death reported, with pre-school staff and household contacts of Bishan MRT staff among new cases

Foreign workers undergoing medical examination at Toh Guan Dormitory on May 2, 2020.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

[UPDATE 10.39 PM]

A total of 448 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Singapore today (May 21) and there is an increase in the number of community cases from yesterday, as well as one additional death.

In a statement by the Ministry of Health (MOH), they announced that the latest death is a 73 year-old Singaporean male who has passed away from complications due to Covid-19 infection on May 21.

He was confirmed to have Covid-19 infection on April 17, and had a history of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and hypothyroidism. The National Centre for Infectious Diseases has reached out to his family and is extending assistance to them.

This brings the death toll to 23.

Pre-school staff and household contacts of Bishan MRT staff among newly infected

Of the new cases, 14 are community cases while the remaining cases come from Work Permit holders living in dormitories.

The 14 community cases consist of 13 Singaporeans/Permanent Residents and one Work Permit holder.

Of the 13 Singaporeans/Permanent Residents cases, seven were picked up from MOH's active surveillance and screening of nursing home residents and pre-school staff, and four are part of a family cluster linked to a dormitory.

The new cases include a 40-year-old female from My First Skool at 303 Canberra Road, a 58-year-old female from PCF Sparkletots at Gambas, and a 28-year-old male worker from the food court at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. All three patients went to work after onset of symptoms.

The family cluster of four is linked to the cluster at Cochrane Lodge 2, which has 394 confirmed cases. MOH also revealed that they're household contacts of the 58-year-old female Bishan MRT staff who was diagnosed on May 17.

The number of new cases in the community has decreased, from an average of seven cases per day in the week before to an average of six per day in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at an average of two per day in the past two weeks.

MOH continues to pick up more cases among Work Permit holders residing in dormitories, including in factory-converted dormitories, because of extensive testing in these premises, as part of their process to verify and test the status of all workers.

99 per cent of the new cases are linked to known clusters, while the rest are pending contact tracing.

2 clusters closed, with new cluster at nursing home

MOH added that they have closed the clusters at Natureland East Coast (907 East Coast Road), Wing Fong Court (10 Lorong 14 Geylang) and 112 Neythal Roadas there have been no more cases linked to them in the past 28 days.

However, there is a new cluster at Orange Valley Nursing Home (6 Simei Street 3), with four of the new cases linked to it.

Of the 901 cases who are still in the hospital, most are stable and improving. 10 are in critical condition, while 16,771 cases who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19 are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

MOH also announced that 910 more cases of Covid-19 infection have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 12,117 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.

This brings the total number of cases to 29,812, with 12,117 patients discharged and 23 deaths.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

bryanlim@asiaone.com