4 new community infections with COVID-19 in Singapore, including 1 case unrelated to Orange Valley Nursing Home

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SINGAPORE: Singapore reported four new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Thursday, June 10 at noon.

Two were linked to earlier cases – one had been quarantined earlier while the other had been detected through surveillance.

The two remaining community cases were unrelated, the Department of Health (MOH) said.

NON-RELATED CASES

An unrelated community case involved a 29-year-old man working as a nurse’s aide at Orange Valley Nursing Home (Balestier).

The Indian national was asymptomatic. He was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose on May 14.

His infection was detected when he was tested for COVID-19 on June 8 as part of nursing home surveillance tests for staff members.

His pooled test result came back positive on June 9, and an individual test done on the same day also came back positive. The result of his serological test was positive.

The other unrelated community case involved a 74-year-old man working at a miscellaneous store at Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Center.

The Singaporean developed a cough on June 8 and a sore throat on June 9. He visited a general practitioner on June 9 and underwent both a rapid antigen test (ART) and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

He was immediately isolated when his ART result came back positive the same day. His PCR test result also came back positive later that day. The result of his serological test was pending.

The man was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose on April 6.

OTHER COMMUNITY CASES

A community case involving a 40-year-old inmate from the Changi Penitentiary complex was linked to the prison cluster, bringing that cluster to 16 cases. The man was close contact with Case 63160, a cook employed in the prison kitchen.

The new case was quarantined on May 13. He developed a cough and sore throat on June 7 and was tested for COVID-19 on June 8. Her test result came back positive the next day.

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The man had been tested regularly for COVID-19 during quarantine and all of his test results were negative. The last test was carried out on June 4. Her serological test result was pending.

The man tested positive for the Delta variant and results of further confirmatory tests were pending, the health ministry said.

Another linked community case involved a 40-year-old baker from St Leaven Bakery in Takashimaya.

The Malaysian was asymptomatic. His infection was detected when he went to a COVID-19 test run by his employer on June 7.

He was quarantined the same day because he had been identified as a family member and family contact of case 64112, a woman working as a retail assistant at the Four Leaves bakery at ION Orchard and AMK Hub.

The man’s test result came back positive for COVID-19 on June 9. His serological test result was negative for the N antigen, suggesting the presence of early infection, the health ministry said.

The man had received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on May 31.

IMPORTED CASES

There were also nine imported cases, which had been ordered to stay at home upon arrival in Singapore.

Two cases were Singaporeans and five were permanent residents returning from Angola, India, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

One case concerned a holder of a work pass who had arrived from the Philippines. The last case was a work permit holder who arrived from Indonesia.

No new infections were reported in the dormitories of migrant workers.

In total, Singapore reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

PUBLIC PLACES VISITED BY THE CASES

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St Leaven Bakery in Takashimaya and Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Center, where two of the new community cases worked, were added to a list of places visited by community cases during their infectious period.

The full list of new MOH locations is as follows:

GRAB CLUSTER CLOSED

A cluster of three COVID-19 cases linked to a private rental car driver with Grab was closed on Thursday after no new infections were linked to it in the past 28 days.

Another 25 cases were released, bringing the total number of cases that have fully recovered to 61,765.

There have been 150 hospitalized cases, including one in intensive care. A total of 287 people were isolated and treated in community facilities.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community fell from 147 cases the previous week to 40 cases last week.

The number of unrelated cases in the community has also declined, from 26 cases the previous week to seven cases last week.

Of the 91 confirmed cases reported from June 4 to June 10, 46 cases tested positive for their serological tests, 30 tested negative and 15 serological test results were pending.

READ: COVID-19 Vaccination: Why Some Seniors Hold Back and How a Little Boost Can Help

HDB BLOCK TEST UPDATE

The Department of Health also provided an update on mandatory testing in various Housing Council blocks on Thursday.

In Punggol, a total of 452 residents and visitors of the 325A Sumang Walk block were tested. All of them have tested negative for COVID-19.

In Hougang, a total of 4,347 visitors from block 506 Hougang Avenue 8 as well as residents and visitors from seven neighboring blocks voluntarily showed up for testing. Of these, 4,273 people had tested negative and 74 more test results were pending.

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RELIEF OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

Singapore has announced that it will gradually ease restrictions amid a drop in the number of community cases and as it prepares to return to phase 3 (heightened alert).

Starting June 14, the limit for social gatherings will drop from two to five, the COVID-19 multi-ministerial task force announced Thursday.

READ: Up to 5 in a group allowed from June 14; dinner will resume on June 21 as part of gradual easing of COVID-19 borders

Further restrictions will be relaxed from June 21 if the COVID-19 situation remains under control, the task force said.

Meals on site, wedding receptions, indoor sports activities without a mask and school lessons may resume. The limits on the size of events will also be increased. However, working from home will remain the default.

The task force also announced that Singaporeans between the ages of 12 and 39 can register for their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Friday. This includes a “large group of 1.5 million people,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said.

READ: Singaporeans aged 12 to 39 can register for COVID-19 vaccination starting June 11

READ: COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits for self-test to be ‘sold by pharmacists’ from June 16: Department of Health

Starting June 16, four brands of ART COVID-19 self-test kits will be “sold by pharmacists,” the task force also said. They produce results in less than 20 minutes.

“As we want to resume more activities, we need to make testing quick, easy and accessible,” Mr. Ong said.

Singapore reported 62,236 cases of COVID-19 and 34 deaths on Thursday.

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