Singapore taking ‘active steps’ to ensure timely access to effective, safe coronavirus vaccine

Singapore (PTI) – Singapore on Saturday said it is closely monitoring the global progress in developing COVID-19 vaccines and taking active steps to ensure that the city-state has timely access to an effective and safe vaccine.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told parliament that once COVID-19 vaccines become available, Singapore’s approach will be to protect those at higher risk or people who may be more likely to be exposed to infection.

Singapore has seen several new COVID-19 clusters in dormitories that were previously cleared of the disease in recent weeks.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) identified a new cluster at Blue Stars Dormitory with 33 earlier confirmed cases linked. The dormitory was declared cleared of COVID-19 on August 8, the Channel News Asia reported.

Among the three imported cases, reported on Friday, is a Singaporean and a permanent resident (foreigner) who returned from India on August 28 and August 23.

The third case is a Short-Term Visit Pass holder who arrived from India on 26 August. He was allowed entry into Singapore as his spouse has been seeking medical treatment in Singapore.

The three had been placed on 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) upon arrival in Singapore, and had been tested while serving their SHN at dedicated facilities.

On Saturday, Singapore reported 34 new COVID-19 cases, including three in the community and two imported. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 56,982.

The community infections comprise one Singaporean and two work pass holders (foreigners), according to a preliminary update from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The two imported cases were placed on stay-home notice when they arrived in Singapore.

The rest of the cases were among foreign workers here.

With 146 cases discharged on Friday, 56,156 patients, or 99 per cent, of all COVID-19 patients, have fully recovered from the disease.

There are currently 51 confirmed cases in hospital and 696 recuperating in community facilities from mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.