1 community infection among 11 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

1 community infection among 11 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

Orchard Road pedestrians (1)
Pedestrians cross the street at a junction along the Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore on Sep 25, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: One community case was among the 11 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Wednesday (Feb 17).

Case 60277 is a Singaporean woman who works at Aibel, a service company in the oil, gas and offshore wind industries, in an administrative role. 

The 59-year-old woman has been working from home since March last year, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

She developed an itchy throat on Feb 4 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic. 

The woman was placed on five days of medical leave and told to return for a follow-up consultation and COVID-19 test if she had not recovered after three days. She informed her doctor on Feb 6 that she had recovered. 

On Feb 15, the woman developed fever, chills, nausea and epigastric pain. She sought treatment at Sengkang General Hospital, where she was tested for COVID-19 and isolated. 

Her test result come back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day. Her serology test result has also come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection, said MOH.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing and all close contacts of the case, including her family members, have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that asymptomatic cases can be detected. Serological tests for the woman's close contacts will also be conducted to determine if she was infected by them. 


The remaining 10 infections were imported cases and had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival, said MOH.

Of the 10 cases, one is a work pass holder from India. Eight are work permit holders who arrived from Indonesia and Malaysia, of whom seven are foreign domestic workers. 

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India for studies in Singapore, said MOH.

READ: 'Less than 1%' of total arrivals into Singapore since April last year tested positive for COVID-19

The ministry added that seven of the 10 imported cases arrived in Singapore before the requirement for mandatory on-arrival serology tests commenced. Three were not required to undergo these tests upon arrival. 

From Feb 5, newly arrived work permit and S Pass holders in the construction, marine and process sectors, as well as foreign domestic workers and confinement nannies with recent travel history to higher-risk places are required to undergo on-arrival serology tests. This is in addition to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. 


MOH said 15 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, taking Singapore's total number of recoveries to 59,676.

There are 25 COVID-19 patients still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with one person in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 91 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are people who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

Marmaris Restaurant at Dunlop Street in Little India was added to the list of places visited by COVID-19 cases in the community during their infectious period.

No new infections were reported in foreign worker dormitories.

As there have been no more cases linked to the Golden Bridge Foods Manufacturing​​​​​​​ cluster for the past two incubation periods, the cluster has now been closed, said MOH. 

READ: Emerging stronger from COVID-19 crisis the focus of Budget 2021

About 3,200 appeals to waive the stay-home notice accommodation costs for foreign domestic workers were approved over the last 10 months.

Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said in Parliament on Tuesday that this accounts for about 13 per cent of the 25,000 entry requests approved for foreign domestic workers to enter Singapore between April last year and January this year.

The appeals were “carefully reviewed”, taking into consideration factors such as the household income and financial circumstances of the applicants, she added.

READ: COVID-19: Singapore tightens restrictions for Vietnam travellers; New South Wales visitors to take test on arrival

READ: Extra COVID-19 testing for all newly arrived foreign workers in construction, marine, process sectors

As part of efforts to stem the transmission of COVID-19, most new foreign domestic workers coming into Singapore have to serve a stay-home notice in dedicated facilities. They must also take a COVID-19 test before their stay-home notice is over.

Employment agencies told CNA last month that costs for stay-home notice facilities can come up to about S$1,500, while COVID-19 tests cost about S$200 each.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,821 COVID-19 cases, with 29 fatalities.

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Source: CNA/zl