SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 22 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Monday (Jan 11), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

No locally transmitted cases in the community or in foreign workers’ dormitories were reported.

All the cases were imported and were all placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

Among the imported cases were two Singaporeans and two permanent residents who returned from India. Three others are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from India and the United Arab Emirates. 

Ten were work permit holders, including two foreign domestic workers, who arrived from Indonesia, Bangladesh and India. 

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Two of these work permit holders – Cases 59176 and 59180 – are sea crew members who worked onboard bunker tanker NewOcean 6, said the health ministry. 

They were identified as close contacts of Case 58812, and were placed on quarantine on Dec 31. They were tested during quarantine and confirmed to have COVID-19 infection on Jan 10.

The NewOcean 6 bunker tanker cluster now has a total of 11 confirmed cases. The first person, Case 58812, was an Indonesian crew member who tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Dec 30 after arriving in Singapore on Dec 17.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Jan 6 that NewOcean 6 has been quarantined and will cease all operations until further notice.

The bunker tanker, operated by Palmstone Tankers & Trdg, will need to review all its procedures before it is allowed to resume operations, added MPA. 

WORK PERMIT HOLDER PREVIOUSLY TESTED NEGATIVE 

MOH also said Case 59170, a work permit holder who arrived from Bangladesh, had arrived on Dec 14 and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 28. 

His swab test, which was done on Dec 24, came back negative for COVID-19 and another swab taken as part of rostered routine testing on Jan 6 was also negative.

However, another test on Jan 8 came back positive for COVID-19 infection. 

READ: 1,050 Home Team frontline healthcare officers to get COVID-19 vaccine over coming weeks

“His polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test yielded a very high Ct value, which is indicative of a low viral load. His serological test result has also come back positive. 

“Given that these indicate a likely past infection, we have classified this case as imported. He is likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others,” said MOH.

There was also a long-term visit pass holder from India, who is linked to a previously reported case, Case 59068. 

Two short-term visit pass holders arrived from the United States and India to visit their family members who are Singaporeans or permanent residents. 

One of them is a 1-year-old baby, who arrived from India, and is linked to a previously reported case, Case 59114 who travelled to Singapore to visit her spouse who is a permanent resident.

A third short-term visit pass holder came from India to visit her son who is studying in Singapore. 

The remaining case was a student’s pass holder who arrived from Indonesia. The 26-year-old man was the sole symptomatic case reported on Monday. 

32 MORE PATIENTS DISCHARGED

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has decreased from nine cases in the week before to eight cases in the past week. 

The number of unlinked cases in the community has increased from three cases in the week before to five cases in the past week.

Thirty-two more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore’s total recoveries to 58,668.

There are 67 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in the intensive care unit. Another 165 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.

As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,929 COVID-19 cases.

READ: Malaysians with Singapore PR can now apply for PCA scheme to travel home

VACCINE ROLLOUT CONTINUES

About 1,050 frontline healthcare officers from the Home Team will be vaccinated against COVID-19 over the coming weeks, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Monday.

Among those getting vaccine shots are the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Emergency Medical Services officers, staff from the Home Team Medical Services Division and Singapore Prison Service medical services division officers.

Frontline officers from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency who run laboratory tests on swab samples from travellers will also get the vaccine.

This comes after the Government accepted a vaccination strategy that involves first inoculating healthcare workers starting on Dec 30 last year, and rolling it out to more healthcare institutions.

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