Singapore Confirms 623 Covid-19 Cases On 17 Apr

In a mysterious “preliminary” confirmation, the Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed 623 Covid-19 cases in Singapore today (17 Apr).

For several hours, no other information was available besides the fact that majority come from workers’ dormitories.

Just before midnight, however, MOH updated the press release with more, albeit rather cursory details.

Almost 90% of cases come from workers’ dormitories

In what seems to be a consistent pattern, a large percentage of cases are from workers’ dormitories.

558 out of the 623 reported today, or almost 90%, are Work Permit holders residing in dormitories.

Of these, 69% have links to existing clusters.

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MOH assures that most are mild cases who are receiving treatment in community care centres or general wards of public hospitals.

As they continue close monitoring and testing of workers at dorms, the rise in cases there will likely persist.

Fewer community cases, but harder to trace

While ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures have considerably reduced local transmissions, the ones that emerged have proven to be more difficult to trace.

Singapore reported 27 such Covid-19 cases today, in the following permutation:

  • 22 Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents
  • 4 Work Pass holders
  • 1 visitor

Separately, Singapore reported a lone imported case following a drop in such cases recently. The patient is serving a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

37 Work Permit holders not staying in dormitories also contribute to today’s count, raising the number of cases among the group.

11th Covid-19 death at Raffles Hospital

A heartbreaking update would be the 11th death, a 95-year-old male Singaporean who passed away on 17 Apr from complications due to Covid-19 infections.

He had tested positive only 4 days ago on 13 Apr, before succumbing to the illness at Raffles Hospital. The hospital is reaching out to his family to offer assistance.

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MS News extends our sincere condolences to the victim’s family.

More discharged, fewer in ICU

In more positive news, 25 patients have successfully recovered, meaning a total of 708 have been discharged from hospital.

Down from previous days’ numbers, 22 are in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Local transmissions harder to trace, emergence of undetected cases

All in all, while authorities acknowledge the effectiveness of the ‘Circuit Breaker’ in reducing local transmissions, a new concern is the difficulty in linking them, and tracing the source of infection.

Apparently, unlinked local cases have been on the rise, though MOH is trying their best to clamp down on them.

Tests on patients at primary care facilities have garnered some positive results, indicating “undetected cases in the community.”

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What this means for the general public is unclear, but the best advice for now is to continue complying with safe distancing measures and stay home advisories, until the situation blows over.

Our responsibility as citizens is to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our community safe, so let’s do the best that we can.

Featured image adapted from Wikimedia Commons.