27 community cases among 38 new COVID infections in Singapore

·Editorial Team
·11-min read
A man walks past chairs stacked up outside restaurants as dining-in is restricted to curb the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 17, 2021.   REUTERS/Edgar Su
A man walks past chairs stacked up outside restaurants as dining-in is restricted to curb the coronavirus disease outbreak in Singapore on 17 May, 2021. (PHOTO: Reuters)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed 38 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Tuesday (18 May), taking the country's total case count to 61,651.

Of them, 27 are local transmissions in the community, of whom 16 are linked to previous cases. Among them, 14 had already been placed on quarantine earlier. 

Eleven remaining cases are imported, of whom six are returning Singaporeans or permanent residents. 

Tuesday marks the 23rd consecutive day with local cases reported. "Amongst the new cases today, 13 are asymptomatic and were detected from our proactive screening and surveillance, while 25 were symptomatic, said the MOH.

The authorities also announced four new clusters, bringing the total number of active clusters in Singapore to 19. The five-case cluster at the Sengkang General Hospital has been removed from the list, with its infections now accounted for in the Changi Airport cluster.

The 11 unlinked cases in the community, aged between 26 and 95, include a woman who tested preliminarily positive for the India variant, or B.1.617. They are:

  • a 57-year-old Singaporean woman who works at the Ministry of Home Affairs (preliminarily positive for B.1.617 variant, received one dose of vaccine)

  • a 40-year-old Singaporean man who works as a vending machine loader (fully vaccinated)

  • a 51-year-old Singaporean woman who is a clinic assistant at Dorothy’s Baby & Child Clinic (fully vaccinated)

  • a 38-year-old Singaporean woman who works as an analyst at HSBC (received one dose of vaccine)

  • a 46-year-old Singaporean woman who is a DBS investment banker at Marina Bay Financial Tower

  • a 95-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree

  • a 39-year-old Singaporean woman who is a manager at Corner Stone Global Partners

  • a 35-year-old Malaysia man who is a kitchen crew at Kota Zheng Zong Bak Kut Teh (Serangoon Gardens)

  • a 31-year-old Singaporean man who works at Funan's Courts outlet

  • a 43-year-old male China national who works at Jin Tai Tong Food Industries

  • a 26-year-old Malaysian man who works as a logistics officer at DCSS Technology

All 11 cases' serology results are pending, except for the 46-year-old woman who tested negative.

Separately, there are three cases linked to previous infections, including a 59-year-old Singaporean man who works as a Great Eastern financial planner and is linked to the 57-year-old woman. He has also tested preliminarily positive for the India variant, or B.1.617, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

Two of them have been quarantined:

All three cases' serology results are pending.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Four new clusters, each linked to 3 cases

1. "Case 63290" cluster: The new cluster is named after the case number of a 64-year-old unemployed female PR who was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 15 May. The two new cases linked to the cluster on Tuesday, both quarantined, are her family members and close contacts.

  • a 7-year-old Malaysian boy who is a Yuhua Primary School student

  • a 36-year-old Malaysian man who is a cook at Spring Court Restaurant

Both cases' serology results are pending.

2. "Case 63304" cluster: The new cluster is named after the case number of a 35-year-old female Portugal national who works as a sales personnel at Sanofi- Aventis and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 15 May. The two new cases linked to the cluster on Tuesday, both quarantined, are her household contact and family member, respectively.

  • a 40-year-old Filipino woman is a foreign domestic worker

  • a 2-year-old Singaporean boy who is a My First Skool (Westgate) student

Both cases' serology results are pending.

3. "Case 63357" cluster: The new cluster is named after the case number of a 32-year-old Singaporean man who works as an IT engineer at AbbVie Operations Singapore and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 16 May. The other case in the cluster is a 57-year-old Singaporean man who works as an engineer at 3M Innovation Singapore.

The new case linked to the cluster on Tuesday is a 57-year-old Singaporean woman who is a retiree. She is a family member and household contact of the two cases and had already been quarantined. The MOH did not provide the status of her serology result.

4. "Case 63236" cluster: The new cluster is named after the case number of a 53-year-old Singaporean man who works as a personal chauffeur and confirmed to have COVID-19 on 14 May. The man also tested preliminarily positive for the India variant, or B.1.617, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

The other case is a 36-year-old Filipino woman who is a foreign domestic worker and a close contact of the man.

The new case linked to the cluster on Tuesday is an 18-year-old Singaporean girl who is an ITE College Central student. She is a family member and household contact of the man. Her serology test result is negative, said the MOH.

Changi Airport cluster: 3 new cases + 6 previous cases linked, 87 in total

With three new infections linked to it, the Changi Airport cluster, or the "Case 62873" cluster, is now linked to 87 cases and the largest of 19 active clusters in Singapore. It is also the largest cluster recorded to date in Singapore, superseding the now-inactive cluster of 47 cases at Safra Jurong.

At least 22 cases in the cluster have tested preliminarily positive for the India variant, or B.1.617.

The cluster is named after an 88-year-old Singaporean man who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. The fully-vaccinated man was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 5 May.

The five-case Sengkang General Hospital cluster, subsumed into the airport cluster, was first linked to a 33-year-old Filipino man who works as an operating theatre nurse at the hospital and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 11 May. The man had tested preliminarily positive for the Indian variant – or B.1.617 – and is pending further confirmatory tests.

All three new cases linked to the cluster on Tuesday have been quarantined and none of them work at Changi Airport:

  • a 36-year-old Malaysian woman who works at Toast and Curry Sentosa (preliminarily positive for B.1.617 variant and household contact of one case)

  • a 26-year-old Singaporean woman who is an IT engineer at Accenture (household contact and family member of one case)

  • a 27-year-old Malaysian man national who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner at Robinson 77 (close contact of one case)

The 36-year-old woman tested negative on her serology test, while the results of the other two cases are pending.

Learning Point cluster: 4 new cases, 24 in total

The "Case 63131" cluster is named after the case number of a 50-year-old Singaporean woman who works as a tutor at Learning Point at Parkway Centre and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on 12 May. It is one of two new clusters identified last Friday.

All four new cases linked to the cluster on Tuesday have been quarantined and include two students:

  • a 37-year-old female PR who is self-employed (family member and household contact of one case)

  • a 43-year-old Singaporean woman who works as an executive at Zespri Hub (family member and household contact of one case)

  • a 7-year-old Singaporean boy who is a Catholic High School student (attended tutor's classes)

  • a 7-year-old female Singaporean who is a CHIJ (Katong) Primary School student and attends student care at Seedlings World Student Care @ Frankel (close contact of two cases)

All four cases' serology results are pending.

Free COVID tests for those who visited JEM, Westgate from 10-14 May

The MOH said that as a precautionary measure, it will conduct special testing operations for staff who work in JEM and Westgate shopping malls as a few COVID-19 cases had visited the malls during their infectious period. 

Free COVID-19 tests will also be offered for members of the public who had visited the two shopping malls from 10 to 14 May.

"All visitors to JEM and Westgate from 10 to 14 May are also advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit. They are encouraged to visit a Regional Screening Centre or “Swab and Send Home” (SASH) Public Health Preparedness Clinic for a free COVID-19 test if they feel unwell," said the ministry.

The MOH also noted that the number of new cases in the community has increased from 40 in the week before to 163 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from 10 in the week before to 48 in the past week.

Several new places have been added to the list of public venues visited by infectious community cases, including an OCBC outlet at Toa Payoh Central, two eateries at The Punggol Settlement, a Yakun Kaya Toast outlet at SAFRA Toa Payoh, and the Immigration Checkpoint Authority.

The increase in community cases has prompted authorities in Singapore to ramp up social distancing measures, starting from last Sunday through to 13 June as part of the "Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)" curbs.

These include a ban on dining-in at all food and beverage establishments, including hawker centres and food courts, and limiting social gatherings to two persons. All primary, secondary, junior college, and Millennia Institute students will shift to full home-based learning from Wednesday until 28 May.

Due to the detection of one case in each of the two schools, both Frontier Primary School and Fuchun Primary School have moved to full home-based learning from Monday.

In a separate press release on Tuesday, the Ministry of Education said that of the three latest schools with cases, Yuhua Primary School has started home-based learning while Catholic High School (Primary) and CHIJ (Katong) Primary will start on Wednesday.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

11 imported cases, including six-year-old boy

Among the 11 imported cases, three are Singaporeans and three are PRs, including a six-year-old boy, who returned from France, India, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. 

Another is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from the United Arab Emirates, while one case is a work pass holder who arrived from the Philippines.

The remaining three cases are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines, of whom two are foreign domestic workers.

All 11 imported cases were placed on the stay-home notice upon their arrival here and were tested while serving the notice.

99% of total cases have recovered, 5 in ICU

With 11 more patients discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities on Tuesday, 61,134 cases – or 99.2 per cent of the total – have fully recovered from the infection.

Most of the 220 hospitalised cases are stable or improving, while five of them are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

A total of 266 patients – with mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive – are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Apart from the 31 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.

Amongst the 248 confirmed cases reported from 12 to 18 May, 75 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 143 have tested negative, and 30 serology test results are pending.

Read more about Singapore's Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions here.

Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore

More Singapore stories:

COVID: No truth of ‘Singapore variant’ in reports by Hindustan Times, NDTV – MOH

COVID: Singapore vaccination extended to 12-15 age group, dosing interval now 6-8 weeks

COVID: Singapore to advise use of face masks with good filtration capability

COVID: No need to rush to buy more masks, sufficient supply in Singapore – MTF

Sinovac vaccine has 2-year shelf life, still being assessed for use in Singapore: MOH official