Singapore – Members of the public found one of the latest Ministry of Health (MOH) Covid-19 updates “illogical” after it mentioned the cause for the higher number of confirmed cases was due to fewer tests conducted in the past few days.
As of Monday noon (July 13), there were 322 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to MOH’s daily update. It included 11 community cases with two Singaporeans or permanent residents and nine work pass holders. There was a total of five imported cases while the rest were cases picked up amongst work permit holders residing in dormitories. “The higher number of cases today is mainly due to fewer tests being conducted by the Covid-19 testing laboratories over the public holiday and weekend on July 10 and 11, with the backlog of samples being cleared from July 12,” said the MOH. The confirmed number of cases for the previous days were 178, 170 and 191 for July 12, 11 and 10, respectively.
“Is this some kind of riddle?” commented Facebook user Chan Tang Wah in response to the update. While others explained that the increase in numbers was due to the backlog, a few requested for more transparent and systematic testing. “The numbers of testing carried out daily should be a fixed figure so it could reflect the actual situation,” added Facebook user A-goh KS.
Meanwhile, many expressed their concern for the continued rise in dormitory cases and the increasing imported cases. Facebook user MayMay Yeoh wondered if it was possible to sign a petition to stop people from returning from India, which is where a significant amount of the recent confirmed cases came from. Another netizen suggested that those returning from abroad should be sent to the hospital directly for a swab test and shouldn’t be taking a taxi home to serve their Stay Home Notices as this poses a risk to taxi drivers.
On a separate account, the MOH released an update on July 14 regarding an error made by a Covid-19 testing laboratory on July 10. A Secondary One student from Jurong West Secondary School, Case 45655, who was asymptomatic was reported as a confirmed case on that day’s update. “Due to human error, the laboratory had mislabeled a swab sample from a Covid-19 positive individual as belonging to Case 45655 without properly verifying the patient identifiers of the specimen tubes,” said MOH. The mislabelled positive sample belonged to a migrant worker who has not been in contact with other individuals, confirmed MOH.
“MOH takes a serious view of this error. We are investigating this matter, and will take appropriate actions against the laboratory if it is found to be in breach of protocols.”