SINGAPORE: Thirteen new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Singapore, taking the total number of people infected by the deadly virus in the city-state to 130.
The 13 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday and is the highest daily jump since the outbreak of the deadly disease started emerging in the country this January. The latest Health Ministry report brings the total number of new coronavirus cases to 130 since the first case was confirmed on January 23, reported Channel News Asia.
One of the latest cases is a Singapore Airlines' cabin crew and another is an employee of Sintel, the city-state's biggest multi-national telecom group. In a briefing on Friday, the ministry's communicable diseases director Vernon Lee said, “We are still doing investigations” of the people who attended a dinner at SAFRA Jurong, a junior military officer mess club popular for functions among mid-classes.
“Not all of the cases were at the dinner. Some were family members or had links, but they were not necessarily at the dinner,” Lee said of the February 15 dinner at the SAFRA Jurong club. "For those who were at the dinner, we are still investigating their exact positions," said Associate Professor Lee.
The Ministry's director of medical services Kenneth Mak added, "Our understanding is that people were seated at more than one table and there may have been movements that took place throughout the dinner." Among the confirmed cases is a Singapore permanent resident who had been in Germany recently.
Nine coronavirus patients are in critical condition in the intensive care units of hospitals and 48 are still hospitalized. Eighty-two patients have been discharged from hospitals. Meanwhile, the Singtel employee had not gone to work since reporting onset of symptoms on February 27. He is in an isolation room at Alexandra Hospital.
Earlier on Friday, Singtel confirmed to Channel News Asia that one of its employees was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday night. "Our immediate priority has been to manage and minimize the risk of infection at Singtel Comcentre 1 where our colleague worked on level 20," the company said, adding that the entire floor has been closed off and disinfected.
"Those working on the same floor have been instructed to work from home for 14 days, closely monitor symptoms and practise strict social distancing while contact tracing is conducted in tandem with the Health Ministry." "We are moving as fast as we can to ensure all parties who have been in close contact with our affected colleague can be identified swiftly," the telco was quoted as saying.
It is inevitable that Singapore will see a fatality from the coronavirus, warned Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Friday. Gan told a briefing that patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), seven as of Thursday, are in quite critical condition.
"So far our healthcare workers are working very hard and trying their best to support them and hopefully they can recover. But it's inevitable that at some point in time, we will see fatalities from COVID-19, as we've seen all around the world," The Straits Times quoted the minister as saying. (PTI)