Singapore reported 386 new coronavirus cases, majority of them foreign workers living in dormitories, on Monday, taking the country’s total number of infections to 38,296, while 25 people have succumbed to COVID-19, according to the health ministry.
As of Sunday, 24,877 patients had recovered from the disease. Of the total cases, 12,999, or 34 per cent, are still considered active cases and are in hospitals and community isolation facilities, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in its daily update.
Foreign workers living in dormitories comprise 384 cases. The two local cases are a Singaporean and a foreigner on work pass, it said. Twenty-five have died from COVID-19, while nine have died of other causes while testing positive, said the ministry. The jump in the number of COVID-19 cases comes a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the much-needed vaccine to combat the coronavirus will take at least one year before it becomes available widely and urged the people to “learn to live” with COVID-19 for a long time.
“It will take at least a year, probably longer, before vaccines become widely available. We will have to learn to live with COVID-19 for the long term, as we have done in the past with other dangerous infectious diseases, like tuberculosis,” Lee said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday.
He also said new cases in the wider community had come down and the situation in foreign workers living in dormitories had stabilised. This has allowed the country to ease strict circuit breaker measures, he said, adding that the contact tracing and testing will be stepped up to detect the coronavirus cases earlier, isolate their contacts, and prevent clusters from forming.
On Friday, parliament passed a second supplementary supply Bill, bringing government spending on four COVID-19 support packages to Singapore dollars 92.9 billion or nearly 20 per cent of the country’s GDP.