SINGAPORE, May 15 (CNA) - Singapore reported 793 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (May 15), taking the country's total to 26,891.

The vast majority of these cases are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its preliminary daily update.

Of the new cases, one is a Singaporean or permanent resident.

"We are still working through the details of the cases, and further updates will be shared via the MOH press release that will be issued tonight,: the ministry said.

As of Thursday, 5,973 have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities.

In all, 21 have died from complications due to COVID-19 infection.

On Thursday, a leading infectious diseases specialist warned that COVID-19 might be "with us for a long time".

But Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), also said the coronavirus can be contained.

Referring to the current “circuit breaker” as a “hammer”, Prof Leo said a system following the lifting of restrictions would need to be developed in which containment of the virus would essentially follow the “dance steps” of the virus.

Echoing an assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus might never go away, Prof Leo said that with the suppression of the virus, Singapore can reduce the rate of infection and the death toll while buying time until vaccines become available.

Thursday saw a new low in the number of community cases - defined by MOH as Singapore residents and pass holders - since the start of the circuit breaker. Just two such cases were reported - a 76-year-old Singaporean man and a 43-year-old permanent resident.

The number of discharged patients also hit a new record on Thursday, with 1,164 more COVID-19 patients discharged, the first time the number of recovered patients in a day has crossed the 1,000 mark.