13 Indians among 517 new coronavirus cases reported in Singapore

Singapore: Thirteen Indians were among the 517 new coronavirus cases reported in Singapore on Thursday, officials said.

The new patients include 15 COVID-19 community cases.

According to the health ministry, the 15 community cases, all asymptomatic, include 13 Indian males aged between 30 and 48 years. The other two are permanent residents aged 24 and 78.

The Indians lived in a shophouse in Little India precinct’s Veerasamy Road with an earlier confirmed case.

All 15 cases were close contacts of earlier confirmed cases and had already been placed on quarantine, the Channel News Asia reported.

“They are all asymptomatic, but we had swabbed them to confirm and verify their status during quarantine,” the health ministry said.

“Among them, three have positive serological test results, which is indicative of past infections. Eight serological tests have come back negative and two results are pending,” it said, adding that all the 15 men were confirmed to have COVID-19 on June 3.

Singapore has so far reported 36,922 cases of coronavirus and 24 deaths.

While 303 patients undergoing treatment in hospitals, 12,691 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities, the health ministry said, adding that 23,904 have recovered from the infection.

Earlier in the day, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament that Singapore faces a “real risk” of a resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases or clusters if it resumes too many activities too quickly.

Should that happen, Singapore will have to reimpose strict measures and slow down the pace of opening, he cautioned.

As restrictions are eased and more activities resume, it becomes even “more critical” that people exercise strong social responsibility to ensure that community transmission remains low, Gan said.

Singapore has not disclosed national figures for asymptomatic cases but authorities have said that most of the cases among foreign workers are mild or show no symptoms, according to the Channel News Asia report.

A Singapore study that tested the household close contacts of COVID-19 patients has found that an estimated 23 per cent of those infected were asymptomatic.

The seroepidemiological study conducted by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) traced about 2,500 household close contacts who were placed under quarantine.

Seroepidemiology uses data from antibody-based tests to identify which population segments have been exposed to an infectious disease, and in what proportion. It can give insight into under-diagnosed mild cases and how they may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

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