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Singapore reports 28 new COVID-19 infections, including 2 community cases

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SINGAPORE: Twenty-eight new COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Tuesday (Jan 5), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Two of the new cases are local transmissions in the community.

One of them is a close contact of a previously reported case, Case 58812, who is a crew member of a vessel that arrived from Indonesia on Dec 17.

There were 26 imported cases, who were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore, said the ministry.

Amongst them are 4 Singaporeans or permanent residents and 13 foreign domestic workers.

No new cases were found in foreign workers’ dormitories.

More details about the new cases will be updated on Tuesday night, said MOH.

COVID-19 DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT

The COVID-19 outbreak was one of the main topics of discussion at Singapore’s first Parliament session of the year.

On Monday, ministers including COVID-19 task force co-chairs Gan Kim Yong and Lawrence Wong, as well as Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, spoke on issues such as the national vaccination drive and border measures.

Mr Gan said vaccinating the Singapore population requires “considerable resources” and will be the Government’s key focus in 2021. The authorities are readying clinics and vaccination centres for this effort and bookings will be required when the time comes.

Mr Wong said that the recent COVID-19 family clusters are a “sobering reminder of how easy it is for clusters to break out”, warning that “the virus is still circulating and we need to take all the necessary precautions”.

He also revealed that out of the COVID-19 cases that entered Singapore without pre-departure tests between Nov 18 and Dec 27, none resulted in local transmission.

Since Nov 18, all non-citizen and non-permanent resident travellers from higher-risk countries or regions travelling to Singapore are required to take a COVID-19 within 72 hours before their departure.

“We have not required this of citizens and PRs because we do not want to place additional barriers for them to return home if they have urgent need to do so,” said Mr Wong, adding that children aged six and below are also exempted from the requirement as paediatric testing services may not be easily available in some countries.

“Prior bookings will be necessary given the cold-chain requirements at the vaccination sites and multi-dose vials of the vaccines. It will also ensure operational efficiency and minimise individual wait times,” he said, adding that more information on how to make the booking will be provided later.

As of Tuesday, Singapore has reported a total of 58,749 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease.

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