3 SPF officers quarantined, 25 police dogs negative for COVID-19 after para-vet tested positive

3 SPF officers quarantined, 25 police dogs negative for COVID-19 after para-vet tested positive

Police 02
File photo of Singapore Police Force (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Three Singapore Police Force (SPF) officers who were in close contact with the para-veterinarian who tested positive for COVID-19 have been quarantined, SPF said on Friday (Jan 15).

The 25 police working dogs he interacted with in the two weeks before the onset of symptoms were also tested for COVID-19 and all the results were negative, SPF added.

The para-veterinarian, a 32-year-old Singaporean, was the sole community COVID-19 case reported on Thursday.

In response to CNA's queries, SPF said he reported for work on Monday morning without any symptoms but felt feverish after returning home and sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic.

“A swab test was administered and he was given medical leave while awaiting his test results,” the police said.

“The officer went home immediately after leaving the clinic and stayed at home throughout the period.”

He is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Disease (NCID). 

Identified close contacts, including family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Thursday, adding that they will also undergo COVID-19 and serological tests.

As a para-vet, the officer cares for the medical and grooming needs of dogs in the K-9 unit. 

His job mainly involves teleconsultations with dog handlers and does not require him to be deployed for duties outside of his assigned base, said SPF.

The Animal and Veterinary Service tested 25 police dogs he came into contact with as a precautionary measure. 

"Using a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test method for animals recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), all 25 dogs have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2," said the police, adding that the dogs’ health is being monitored regularly and they have not shown any respiratory symptoms.

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The police K-9 unit remains operational, said SPF.

It said it has implemented workplace segregation measures for the work unit of any officer who had interacted closely with the para-vet in order to minimise the potential spread of the virus.

"Immediate and thorough" cleaning and disinfection of common areas that the officer could have come into contact with have also been carried out, said the police. Such areas included work stations, lift lobbies, meeting rooms, pantries and toilets.

The police noted that they have strengthened precautionary measures since the Government heightened the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DOSCON) level to Orange last year.

Measures include requiring the use of masks at work, checking officer and staff temperatures twice daily, frequent cleaning of establishments and facilities, as well as cleaning training equipment after every use.

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Source: CNA/ga(gs)

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