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SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 1,650 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (Sep 24), rising for the fourth consecutive day. 

The 1,646 local infections comprise 1,369 community cases and 277 dormitory residents. The new local cases include 391 seniors above the age of 60.

There were also four imported cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in an update released to the media at about 10.40pm. 

MOH also announced three more fatalities, taking the national death toll to 73.

There have been 18 deaths reported in September so far, equalling the monthly record set in August.

The first fatality is Case 72389, a 79-year-old Singaporean. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Sep 8 and died from complications due to the disease on Friday. 

MOH said the man had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, and had a history of pulmonary hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Graves’ disease, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia.

The second fatality is Case 76190, an 83-year-old Singaporean. He tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Sep 14 and died from complications due to the disease on Friday as well.

He had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and had a history of diabetes mellitus, restrictive lung disease, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia which, together with his advanced age, made him more susceptible to severe illness, said MOH. 

The third fatality, Case 77456, also died from complications due to COVID-19 infection on Friday.

The 86-year-old Singaporean had tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Sep 16.

“He had been vaccinated against COVID-19, and had a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischaemic heart disease, bronchiectasis and hypertension which, together with his advanced age, made him more susceptible to severe illness,” said the Health Ministry. 

As of Friday, Singapore has reported a total of 84,506 COVID-19 cases. 

CASES OF SERIOUS ILLNESS

There are 1,092 patients warded in hospital. Most of them are well and under observation, said MOH.

A total of 162 cases of serious illness require oxygen supplementation, and 23 are in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Among those who fell very ill are 151 seniors above the age of 60.

Over the last 28 days, 98 per cent of the local cases were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

There were 297 cases who needed oxygen supplementation and 32 had been in the ICU. Of these, 52.6 per cent were fully vaccinated and 47.4 per cent were either partially vaccinated or unvaccinated.

NO NEW LARGE CLUSTERS REPORTED

MOH said it is currently “closely monitoring” 10 large clusters with new cases. No new clusters were added to the list on Friday. 

The existing cluster at Blue Stars Dormitory has been linked to another 49 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases to 219. 

MOH said that there was intra-dormitory transmission among the residents with no evidence of spread beyond the dormitory. 

Another seven new cases were also linked to the construction site cluster at 30 Sunview Way, bringing the total cases to 222. 

The cluster involved workplace transmission, with no evidence of spread beyond worksite, said MOH. 

New cases have also already been quarantined for both clusters.

The cluster at My Little Campus (Yishun) now stands at 39 after one more case was linked to it. It comprises two staff members, 28 students and nine household members of cases. 

VACCINATIONS

MOH said 82 per cent of Singapore’s population has completed their full vaccination regimen or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while 84 per cent has received at least one dose as of Thursday.

More than 9 million doses have been administered under the national vaccination programme covering about 4.59 million people, with 4.46 million having completed the full regimen of two doses.

Another 188,596 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s emergency use listing have been administered, covering 87,322 people.

DINING-IN GROUP SIZE REDUCED TO 2

The group size limit for dining-in at regular food and beverage (F&B) outlets will be reduced to two vaccinated people from Monday.

The cap on social gatherings will also be reduced, MOH announced on Friday evening. 

The new restrictions will last until Oct 24, and the Health Ministry said it will review the measures two weeks after implementation and adjust them based on the community situation then.

This comes among a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, which is “of concern” and putting “serious strain” on hospital resources despite the shift to community and home care, said co-chair of the multi-ministry task force Gan Kim Yong. 

Working from home will also be the default for employees able to do so while the home-based learning period for primary and special education schools has also be extended as a precaution.

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