COVID-19: Singapore confirms 1 new case linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore, total at 90

People wearing protective surgical masks visit the Merlion Park, a major tourist attraction in Singapore, on 12 February, 2020. (PHOTO: LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (24 February) confirmed one new case of the coronavirus in Singapore, bringing the total to 90.

The new case is a 75-year-old Singaporean woman who has not travelled to China recently and the seventh patient linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore, one of five identified clusters in Singapore.

Separately, the ministry said that two more cases have been discharged from the hospital on Monday, including a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident who works at the Resorts World Sentosa casino and a 32-year-old Singaporean man who was evacuated from the city of Wuhan on 9 February. 

The addition brings the total of those who have fully recovered and have been discharged to 53, over half of the confirmed cases here. Seven are in critical condition in the intensive care unit, up from five on Sunday.

The MOH added that contact tracing is underway for nine locally transmitted cases with no established links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China, out of 66 local transmissions.

Case 90: Linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore

The elderly woman reported developing symptoms on 9 February and had sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic on 9, 17 and Sunday.

She was conveyed in an ambulance to the emergency department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Sunday, where she was immediately isolated.

She tested positive for the virus on the same afternoon and is currently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).

Prior to her hospital admission, she had mostly stayed at her home at Bishan Street 12.

She is the seventh case linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore, including a married couple from Wuhan and four other Singaporeans.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

Results for 25 suspect cases pending

Most of the 37 remaining patients in the hospital are stable or improving. As of Monday noon, 1,239 suspect cases have tested negative for the virus, while results for the remaining 25 cases are still pending.

At the same time, the MOH has identified 2,842 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 856 are currently quarantined, and 1,986 have completed their quarantine.

The ministry reiterated its advice for Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province, home to Wuhan where the virus originated, and all non-essential travel to mainland China, as well as South Korea’s Daegu city and Cheongdo county.

The MOH also reminded members of the public to continue to exercise caution when travelling to the rest of South Korea.

1st Filipino national infected here confirmed to be case 89

Earlier on Monday morning, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, through the Philippine embassy in Singapore, confirmed that a Filipino national in Singapore has tested positive for COVID-19.

It is the first case of a Filipino national being infected with the virus here.

According to a post, dated 24 February, by the embassy on its Facebook page, the Filipino is now warded in an isolation room in one of Singapore's hospitals. “Personal details of the patient were not shared by the Ministry of Health in line with its privacy policy,” the embassy said.

In response to media queries, the MOH said that the Filipino national is case 89, who was confirmed as one of three cases on Saturday.

The Filipino national was described by the ministry in its daily updates as a 41-year-old male Singapore permanent resident who has not travelled recently to China.

He had tested positive for the virus on Saturday morning and is currently warded in an isolation room at the NCID.

He is one of nine local transmissions with no established links to previous cases or travel history to mainland China.

(SOURCE: PHinSingapore/Facebook)

COVID-19’s death toll surpasses SARS epidemic

The novel strain belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak and also started in China.

It likely originated sometime in December from Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market, where live animals or products – such as foxes, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, porcupines, and camel meat – are sold.

Declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 has spread to 35 territories beyond mainland China. The WHO also said that cases being transmitted by people who have never travelled to China could be the "tip of the iceberg".

To date, the virus has left more than 2,500 people in China dead and sickened over 79,000 globally. Over 30 deaths related to the outbreak have been reported outside mainland China.

At over 830 cases including eight deaths, South Korea has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases after mainland China.

The global tally also includes cruise ship Diamond Princess, moored off Japan, which accounted for 691 cases, including three related deaths so far. Five Singaporeans who were on board the quarantined cruise ship have been allowed to disembark it last week.

Patients suffering from the new strain may exhibit fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness – such as coughing or difficulty in breathing – as well as pneumonia-like symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

However, some who have died from it have not displayed symptoms of fever, according to details released by China’s National Health Commission, potentially complicating global efforts to check for infected travellers as they arrive at airports and other travel hubs.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

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