COVID-19: Singapore reports 1 more possible Omicron case; 552 new cases, 13 deaths

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·Editorial Team
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People wait for the bus in Singapore on November 29, 2021, under the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) for border-crossing passengers to Malaysia's southern state of Johor. (PHOTO: AFP / Roslan RAHMAN)
People wait for the bus in Singapore on November 29, 2021, under the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) for border-crossing passengers to Malaysia's southern state of Johor. (PHOTO: AFP / Roslan RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (5 December) confirmed 552 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 269,211 – as well as 13 deaths due to the disease.

The cases comprised 523 community cases, 14 dormitory resident cases and 15 imported cases. 

The dead were between 52 and 96 years old, and had various underlying medical conditions.

Among the community cases on Sunday were 89 seniors who are aged 60 years and above. The ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before is 0.66.

The MOH is closely monitoring THK Home For Disabled @ Sembawang, a large cluster with new cases. The location has reported 25 new cases, bringing its total 44.

One more possible Omicron case

The MOH said it has detected one more imported COVID-19 case who has "tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant". The case – a 37-year-old male Singapore permanent resident who arrived in Singapore from South Africa on board SQ479 on 1 December, and was on the same flight as two other cases – is currently recovering in an isolation ward at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). "He is fully vaccinated, and has mild symptoms of fever and sore throat. He had not interacted in the community, and there is currently no evidence of any community transmission from the case," the ministry said. 

The MOH shared that his pre-departure test in Johannesburg on 29 November was negative for COVID-19 infection. Upon arrival in Singapore, he was isolated at a Stay-Home Notice (SHN) dedicated facility, and his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on 1 and 3 December came back negative. 

On 4 December, he developed a fever and sore throat and was conveyed to NCID, where he tested "preliminarily positive" for the Omicron variant. The National Public Health Laboratory is conducting whole genome sequencing to confirm the variant, the ministry added. 

All 18 other passengers on the flight have tested negative for COVID-19 infection and are isolated at designated SHN facilities.

863 warded in hospital; 58 in ICU

A total of 863 cases remain warded in hospital. Of them, 155 cases require oxygen supplementation in the general ward, and 58 are in in the intensive care unit (ICU), with six who are unstable and under close monitoring in the ICU, and the remaining 52 who are critically ill and intubated in the ICU. The current overall ICU utilisation rate is 51.2 per cent.

Over the last 28 days, of the 50,617 infected individuals, 98.7 per cent had no or mild symptoms, 0.8 per cent required oxygen supplementation in the general ward, 0.2 per cent were in the ICU, and 0.2 per cent has died.

Over the same period, 98.7 per cent of local infected cases were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, 0.8 per cent required oxygen supplementation in the general ward, 0.1 per cent were unstable and under close monitoring in the ICU to prevent further deterioration, and 0.1 per cent had been critically ill and intubated in the ICU.

Over the past seven days, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who are critically ill in the ICU are at 0.6 and 3.9 per 100,000 population respectively. Over the same period, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who died are 0.1 and 0.6 per 100,000 population respectively.

Among seniors aged 60 and above, the number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cases who are critically ill in the ICU are 2.0 and 34.2 respectively. The number of fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated seniors who died are 0.3 and 6.2 respectively.

Over the past day, 1,518 cases were discharged, of whom 242 are seniors aged 60 years and above.

As of Saturday, the total number of individuals who have completed their full regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines constitutes 96 per cent of the eligible population, and 87 per cent of the total population. As a percentage of total population, 87 per cent has received at least one dose, and 28 per cent has received their booster shots.

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