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48 new imported Covid-19 cases in Singapore, the highest since last March


SINGAPORE - Singapore reported 48 imported Covid-19 cases on Sunday (Jan 24) – a high not seen since March 23 last year.

The same number of imported cases – then the highest – was reported on that day in March last year, during a wave of infections among Singaporeans and permanent residents who were returning from abroad.

All of the new imported cases were on stay-home notice or in isolation when they were diagnosed, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update on Sunday.

Among the new cases, 41 had no symptoms, and were detected through proactive screening and surveillance, while seven were symptomatic, added MOH. They take Singapore’s total to 59,308.

There were no new cases in the community or in workers’ dormitories.

Among the new cases, four are Singapore permanent residents. Two returned from India, while the remaining two returned from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Four cases are dependant’s pass holders who arrived from France, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

One is a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India. Two patients are student pass holders who arrived from Egypt and India.

Eleven are work pass holders who arrived from Bangladesh, Colombia, France, India, Nigeria and the UAE.

There are 22 work permit holders among the new cases who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines. Ten of them are foreign domestic workers.

Three new cases are short-term visit pass holders, with two coming from India to visit their children here, while the third arrived from the United States for a work project.

The final new case is a ship crew member on a special pass, who arrived on board a vessel from Malaysia and did not disembark. He was taken to hospital when he developed symptoms, and later tested positive for Covid-19.

Last Friday (Jan 22), Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who is also co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, noted that in recent weeks, the number of imported cases on some days has been “quite high”. 

“That’s a reflection not so much of the fact that there are more travellers coming into Singapore because the number of travellers coming in day to day doesn’t really change very much, but it’s a reflection of the increase in the infection rate around us. 

“Because of the higher prevalence, we are seeing a higher incidence of cases among the number of the travellers who come through our borders,” he said.

One new place – Li Li Cheng Supermarket at 273C Punggol Place – was added to the list of public places visited by community cases when they were infectious. The supermarket was visited by the confirmed case on Jan 17.

The number of new cases in the community increased to 15 in the past seven days, from eight cases in the previous seven.

The number of unlinked cases in the community decreased to three cases from four cases over the same time period.

Among the 195 confirmed cases reported from last Monday to Sunday, 101 cases had positive serology tests, 36 tested negative, and 58 serology test results are pending. A positive serology test may indicate a past infection of Covid-19.

With 26 cases discharged yesterday, 59,026 patients have fully recovered from the disease.

A total of 50 patients remain in hospital, with none in the intensive care unit, while 188 are recuperating in community facilities.

Singapore has had 29 deaths from Covid-19 complications, while 15 who tested positive have died of other causes.

Published : January 25, 2021

By : Jean Iau The Straits Times/ANN