Over 799 new cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected in Singapore as of April 27 in the past 24 hours, thus bringing the total confirmed cases to 14,423, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed in a statement. Singapore has become the country with the highest toll from the COVID-19 in Southeast Asia after the cluster outbreak was detected at the overseas workers' dorms, confirmed media reports.
As per the ministry, the vast majority of cases in Singapore constitutes the work permit holders, and as many as 52 clusters linked to the foreign dormitories have emerged so far. The S11 Dormitory, Sungei Tengah Lodge, and Tuas View Dormitory account for the highest number of cases out of the 25 dorms where over 300,000 overseas workers reside.
"The main increase today continues to be for work permit holders residing in dormitories, where we are picking up many more cases because of extensive testing," the health ministry said in a statement. "These are not new infections as the workers are staying in their rooms and many have not reported sick. But when the teams go in to test them, many turn out to be positive," it added.
As of 27 Apr 2020, 12pm, we have preliminarily confirmed an additional 799 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore. Read more: https://t.co/bNQkPaVT4O— Ministry of Health (@sporeMOH) April 27, 2020
Earlier, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had warned that more people could test positive at the packed dormitories. While efforts have been made to break the chain of transmission, it will take some time to show the results and flatten the curve, he said at the daily coronavirus press briefing. He further added, in an official statement, that owing to the surge in infections, the partial lockdown measure in Singapore will be extended until June 1. The protocol was due to be suspended on May 4 but stood revised under the new guidelines, local media reported.
Speaking about easing the lockdown measures, the experts were cited by a news media outlet as saying that five weeks from now, if only the figures dipped to single digits and the cases in the foreign dorms declined, the “circuit breaker” measures in Singapore might be considered to be eased for the public. For now, the country had to adhere to the stringent measures to curb further transmission.
(With Agency Inputs)