SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (18 August) reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Singapore, bringing the country's total to 66,334 infections.
The ministry also announced the Republic's 46th coronavirus-related fatality, a 64-year-old Singaporean man who was unvaccinated. He is the ninth such death this month.
Of these, 49 are locally transmitted, including 19 unlinked infections. The ministry did not provide a breakdown of how many of them are in the community or are dormitory residents.
"Amongst the cases is one senior above 70 years who is unvaccinated, and is at risk of serious illness," the MOH said.
The remaining four cases are imported, with three detected upon their arrival in Singapore and one who developed the illness during their stay-home notice or isolation period.
One new cluster was announced on Tuesday, while seven have closed, bringing the total number of active COVID-19 clusters here to 87. The new "Case 68431" cluster is linked to five cases, three of whom are new.
One new case was each added to clusters linked to Westlite Juniper Dormitory, Sengkang Bus Interchange staff and My First Skool at 54 Chin Swee Road, which now have 66, 20 and 38 infections, respectively.
No new cases were added to Singapore's largest cluster at the Jurong Fishery Port, linked to 1,155 cases, as well as the second-largest cluster – linked to various KTVs – which has 253 cases.
Short-term pass holders to get free COVID jabs
In a separate press release, the MOH also announced that from Wednesday, eligible short-term pass holders who have been in Singapore "for an extended period of time" will be allowed to receive free COVID-19 jabs under the national vaccination programme.
However, they will not qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine injury financial assistance programme, said the ministry. Any medical bills incurred by them following the vaccination appointment will also be subject to the prevailing charging policies.
Applicable short-term pass holders include short-term work pass and special pass holders, such as those on training employment passes, training work permits, work holiday passes, and special passes.
This also includes eligible short-term visit pass holders who have been in Singapore for at least 60 days continuously, many of whom who were unable to return because of global travel restrictions during the pandemic, the MOH said.
"Although their stay in Singapore is temporary, vaccinating this group would further strengthen the resilience of our society against COVID-19," it added.
The MOH noted that the number of new cases in the community has decreased from 448 in the week before to 316 in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also decreased from 125 in the week before to 94 in the past week.
It added that the seven-day moving average number of all linked community cases and all unlinked community cases are 31.7 and 13.4 respectively.
26 require oxygen supplementation; 6 in ICU
At least 65,062 cases in Singapore, or over 99 per cent of the overall total, have fully recovered from their infection and have been discharged from the hospital.
As of Wednesday, 402 cases are currently warded, most of whom are well and under observation.
There are currently 26 cases of serious illness requiring oxygen supplementation and six in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Of those who have fallen very ill, 27 are patients above the age of 60, of whom 22 are completely unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, said the MOH.
Apart from the 46 patients who have died from COVID-19 complications, 15 others who tested positive for the virus were determined to have died from unrelated causes, including three whose deaths were attributed to a heart attack and another four whose deaths were attributed to coronary heart disease.
Over the last 28 days, the percentage of unvaccinated who became severely ill or died is 8.8 per cent, while that for the fully vaccinated is 1.5 per cent, the ministry noted.
As of Tuesday, about 8.49 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered under the national vaccination programme. Some 4.45 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with some 4.17 million having completed the full vaccination regimen.
Separately, 153,020 doses of other vaccines recognised in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) have been administered as of Tuesday, covering 84,172 individuals.
This means that 77 per cent of the population have completed their full regimen, or received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines, and 82 per cent have received at least one dose.
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