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SINGAPORE: Singapore on Saturday (Dec 26) reported 10 new imported COVID-19 infections, including a man who stayed at Mandarin Orchard, where 13 people who served their stay-home notice at the hotel have tested positive for the virus.
This is the second case linked to the hotel since the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced last week that it is investigating the 13 cases, which had “high genetic similarity” despite coming from different countries.
This suggests that the cases were “likely infected from a similar source”, and the transmission may have happened during their stay at the hotel.
The latest case reported on Saturday, a Lebanese national who arrived from Qatar, was transferred from Mandarin Orchard to another dedicated stay-home facility on Dec 20 when investigations were launched into the 13 cases.
The man cleared two swab tests on Dec 19 and 21, said MOH. However, his swab test on Dec 24 at the end of his stay-home notice came back positive. His serological test result was negative, indicating it was not a past infection.
READ: 13 imported COVID-19 cases who served stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard hotel investigated for ‘potential link’
On Friday, MOH announced that a 47-year-old permanent resident who returned from the Philippines on Dec 10 and served his stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard had tested positive for the virus.
Like the Lebanese national, the man was moved to another stay-home facility on Dec 20. He also cleared two swab tests but later tested positive for the virus.
The ministry said it is investigating if both cases are linked to the previous cases at the hotel.
2 SINGAPOREANS FROM UK AMONG NEW IMPORTED CASES
The 10 new imported COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday also included two Singaporeans who returned from the United Kingdom, said MOH in its daily update.
There are also two work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh and India, and three dependant pass holders who arrived from India – two girls aged one and three and an eight-year-old boy.
The three remaining cases are short-term visit pass holders. Two of them are relatives of Singaporeans who arrived from India and Qatar, while the third is a caregiver to an individual who was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had returned for further treatment. The caregiver is a Malaysian who arrived from Indonesia.
All cases had been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore. There were no locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.
READ: 8 more Mandarin Orchard hotel staff members have ‘likely’ past COVID-19 infection, taking total to 11
MOH also said on Saturday that 10 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 58,362 people have fully recovered from COVID-19 in Singapore.
There are now 37 cases who are still in hospital, and most are in a stable condition or are improving, said the ministry. No COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit.
In total, 91 are isolated and being cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
As of Saturday, Singapore has reported 58,519 COVID-19 cases, with 29 fatalities.