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4 community cases among 38 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore; 1 imported case initially tested negative

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SINGAPORE: Four community cases were among the 38 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (Jan 21), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its preliminary daily update.

The remaining 34 cases were imported. Of these, 33 had already been placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

The remaining case tested negative for COVID-19 upon arrival in Singapore on Jan 17 and was on a controlled itinerary during his stay here. He subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Jan 20.

There were no cases reported in migrant workers’ dormitories.

Details on the new cases will be released on Thursday night, said the ministry.

REMAIN VIGILANT AND ADAPT: HENG SWEE KEAT

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, as he encouraged residents to take up the vaccine when it becomes available to them.

“The vaccine is safe and effective, even for former stroke patients like myself,” said Mr Heng in a Facebook post.

Vaccinations have started for Singapore Armed Forces personnel, with plans in place to vaccinate the majority of SAF active forces by the middle of this year, said the Ministry of Defence on Thursday.

Speaking separately at a Temasek Shophouse Conversations event on Wednesday, Mr Heng said that society’s response to the pandemic needed to be strengthened.

The crisis has deepened fault lines in some societies, while galvanising the community in others, he said.

“We must remain vigilant and continue to adapt, and expect the unexpected. There will be many more lessons to be learnt before the pandemic ends,” Mr Heng warned.

“COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic. As we mark the first anniversary of COVID-19 in Singapore, it is useful to reflect on what the pandemic has taught us so far, and the fundamentals that we will need to strengthen.”

As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,235 COVID-19 cases.

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