Today marks the third consecutive day of Singapore having zero community cases.
As of 12:00pm today (30 Mar), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has preliminarily confirmed 26 new cases of COVID-19 infection.
All of them are community cases.
This brings the total number of cases in Singapore to 60,347.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from none in the week before to 2 cases in the past week. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from none in the week before to 2 cases in the past week.
NTU Scientists Develop First Rapid Test in S’pore That Can Detect COVID-19 Mutations & Produce Results in 30 Min
NTU scientists have developed a rapid diagnostic test that can determine the presence of the coronavirus even after it has mutated.
The first rapid test of its kind in Singapore, the NTU test takes slightly longer than antigen rapid tests to yield a result—up to 30 minutes—but is 10 times more accurate.
The VaNGuard test—short for variant nucleotide guard test—utilises a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, which is used widely in scientific research to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function in human cells.
More recently, it’s been used in diagnostic applications.
The test acts like a pair of “molecular scissors”, programmed to “snip off” specific segments of the virus’ genetic material from its vital genome. This is how it detects the virus.
At the moment, the VaNGuard test can recognise up to two mutations within the target sites on the coronavirus genome.
The test itself looks like a pregnancy test, as the team managed to imbed it into a paper strip.
It is then dipped into a tube containing the virus load. If the coronavirus or a variant is present, two bands will appear on the paper strip. In the absence of the virus, only one band will appear.
160 Active Cases
There are currently 39 confirmed cases who are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and 1 is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
121 are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
30 have passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection.
Feature Image: Rajaraman Arumugam / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)