19 new cases in Changi Airport COVID-19 cluster, including 3 cleaners and a supervisor

19 new cases in Changi Airport COVID-19 cluster, including 3 cleaners and a supervisor

A passenger checks in at the departure hall
A passenger at Changi Airport in Singapore on Jan 14, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The cluster of COVID-19 infections at Changi Airport has grown to 46 cases, after 19 new cases were added to the list on Thursday (May 13).

The new cases include three cleaners and a cleaning supervisor, a housewife who visited Terminal 3 multiple times and a Gojek driver. 

Of the new cases, nine people work at Changi Airport, while six of them were household contacts of cleaners who worked at the airport.

Eight of the new cases in the cluster have tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant from India, the Ministry of Health said in its nightly update on COVID-19 cases.

The first of the new cases is Case 63115, a 46-year-old Malaysian man who works for SATS as an auxiliary police officer at Changi Airport.

He lives in the same household as Case 63070, a cleaner at the airport's Kopitiam food court who was confirmed to have COVID-19 on May 10.

Case 63115 was quarantined on May 11 as he was a close contact of Case 63070, and developed a fever and sore throat on the same day. He tested positive for COVID-19 on May 12.

His serology test result is negative for the N antigen, which suggests the presence of early infection. Case 63115 received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 21, and the second dose on Mar 14.

READ: Changi Airport COVID-19 cluster grows as family members, household contacts of previous cases test positive

Case 63117 is a 45-year-old woman from China who works at the SATS Premier Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3. She developed a cough, chills and runny nose on May 7, but did not seek medical treatment.

Because she was identified as a close contact of another case, she was quarantined on May 10 and tested positive the next day for COVID-19. Her serology test result is negative.

Case 63118 is a 77-year-old cleaner working for Ramky Cleantech Services at Terminal 3. She was identified as a contact of Case 62873, an 88-year-old Ramky Cleantech cleaner who tested positive on May 5, and quarantined on May 9. She is asymptomatic and was detected when she was tested on May 11, while under quarantine. Her earlier tests, with the last on Apr 30, were all negative for the infection. She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant and is pending further confirmatory tests.

Case 63119 is a 53-year-old cleaner at Abba Maintenance Services. She is the wife of Case 63097, a 62-year-old Ramky Cleantech Services cleaner who was confirmed with the infection on May 11.

She developed a sore throat on May 10 but did not seek medical treatment. She was quarantined on May 11 as she was a close contact of her husband. After she reported her symptoms to the health ministry, she was tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to have the infection on May 12. She received her first dose of the vaccine on Apr 3, and her second on Apr 24.

Case 63125 is a 57-year-old healthcare assistant at Raffles Medical at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Transit. He was detected when he was tested on May 10 as part of rostered routine testing.

He developed a runny nose that evening, but did not report this symptom. His pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 on May 11 and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases where he took an individual test.

The result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day. His earlier tests from rostered routine testing, with the last on May 4, were all negative for the infection.

His serology test result suggests early infection, and he has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant pending further confirmatory tests. He received his first dose of the vaccine on Mar 28 and his second on Apr 25.

Case 63126 is a 39-year-old retail executive at a store in Terminal 3. He is asymptomatic and was tested on May 10 as part of rostered routine testing.

His pooled test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day, and he was taken to NCID for an individual test on May 11, with the infection confirmed the next day.

His earlier tests, the last on Apr 13, were all negative. He received his first dose of the vaccine on Jan 21 and his second on Feb 14.

READ: Jewel Changi Airport, Terminals 1 and 3 to be closed to public as COVID-19 testing continues

Case 63128 is a 49-year-old Malaysian cleaner who works for Ramky Cleantech Services at Terminal 3. He had been quarantined on May 10 as he was a contact of Case 63072, a Ramky Cleantech Services premises maintenance officer who was confirmed to have the infection on May 10.

Case 63128 was tested on May 11 and developed a cough but did not report this. His infection was confirmed the next day and his previous tests were negative, with the last on May 1. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant.

Case 63129 is a 33-year-old Malaysian man, a cleaning supervisor at Terminal 3 working for Ramky Cleantech Services. He was quarantined on May 10 as he was a contact of Case 63072, and was tested on May 11.

He developed a cough and blocked nose on May 12 but did not report his symptoms. His test result came back positive that same day. His earlier tests, the last on Apr 30, were all negative for the infection.

He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant and received his first vaccine dose on Jan 22 and the second on Feb 14.

Case 63132 is a 29-year-old engineer at ST Engineering who is a household contact of Case 63026. He was quarantined on May 9 and tested on May 11. He is asymptomatic and his test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on 12 May. His serology test result is negative.

Case 63135 is a 44-year-old Indonesian maid who was quarantined on May 10 as she is a contact of Case 63059. She developed a fever a day later and was tested for COVID-19 when she reported her symptom. Her test result came back positive on May 12.

Case 63136 is a 52-year-old woman who works as a crew member at the McDonald's outlet at 744 Bedok Reservoir Road. She is a household contact of Case 63100, a Ramky Cleantech Services cleaner who was confirmed with the infection on May 11.

She developed a sore throat on May 8 but did not seek medical treatment. As she had been identified as a close contact of Case 63100, she was placed on quarantine on 11 May. She informed MOH of her symptom and was tested for COVID-19 on May 11 during quarantine, with confirmation of the infection the following day. She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

In response to CNA queries, McDonald's said it after being informed of the employee's infection, it immediately closed the Bedok Reservoir outlet and carried out deep cleaning. 

The outlet will remain closed for the next two weeks until around May 28, said the company said in a statement.

Employees of the outlet have been placed on quarantine order, said McDonald's, adding that it is working closely with MOH for contact tracing.

READ: VJC student who tested positive for COVID-19 is linked to Changi Airport cluster

Case 63138 is a 20-year-old Temasek Polytechnic student who had been on home-based learning since May 7. He is also a household contact of Case 63100, a Ramky Cleantech Services cleaner.

He developed a headache and cough on May 11 but did not seek medical treatment. As he had been identified as a close contact of Case 63100, he was placed on quarantine on May 11 and confirmed to have the virus on May 12. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant.

Case 63139 is a 44-year-old housewife who visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 on numerous occasions. She developed a sore throat on May 8 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner's clinic the next day. She was tested for COVID-19 infection on May 10, and her result came back positive two days later. Her serology test result is pending.

Case 63140 is a 63-year-old Certis Cisco aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He developed a runny nose on May 10 and sought medical treatment at a clinic the next day where he was tested for COVID-19. 

His test result came back positive on May 12. His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on May 3 – were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serological test result is pending. Case 63140 received his first dose of the vaccine on Jan 14, and the second on Feb 4.

Case 63141 is a 40-year-old software engineer at ST Engineering. He developed a sore throat on May 9, a headache on May 10 and a runny nose on May 11. He sought medical treatment at a clinic on May 11 and was tested for COVID-19. His test result came back positive the next day. Case 63141 received his first dose of the vaccine on 5 Feb, and the second dose on Feb 26.

Case 63146 is a 44-year-old private-hire car driver with Gojek. He visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 on May 6 and developed a fever and cough four days later. He sought treatment at a GP clinic on the same day and was tested for COVID-19, with the result coming back positive on May 12. He has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

In response to CNA queries, Gojek Singapore said the account of the driver was immediately suspended once the company was notified of his infection.

"Their vehicle will be towed to a sanitation facility to be deeply disinfected," said Gojek Singapore general manager Lien Choong Luen.

He added that the company is supporting the government's contact tracing efforts.

Case 63148 is a 24-year-old student at an overseas university who had been on home-based learning in Singapore. She is a household contact of Case 63059, a 63-year-old Ramky Cleantech Services cleaner who was confirmed to have the infection on May 10. 

As Case 63148 had been identified as a close contact, she was placed on quarantine on May 10. She developed a fever and runny nose on May 12 and was tested for COVID-19 after reporting her symptoms. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day.

Case 63149 is an 80-year-old cleaner working for Ramky Cleantech Services at Changi Airport Terminal 3. As she had been identified as a contact of Case 62873, the 88-year-old Ramky Cleantech Services cleaner who was confirmed with COVID-19 on May 5, she was placed on quarantine on May 10. 

She is asymptomatic, and was detected when she was tested on May 12. Her test result came back positive for COVID-19 the next day.

Case 63150 is a 58-year-old administrative worker at SBY Frozen Food Supply. She is a family member of Case 63055, a Certis Cisco aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3, and 63074, an administrative worker at SBY Frozen Food Supply. Cases 63055 and 63074 tested positive for COVID-19 on May 10.

Case 63150 was quarantined on May 10 and tested on May 12. Her COVID-19 infection was confirmed on May 13, and she is asymptomatic but has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant. She received her first dose of the vaccine on Apr 3 and the second on Apr 24.

READ: 24 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore, 17 linked to Changi Airport cluster

A total of 46 cases have now been linked to the cluster since an 88-year-old man who works as a cleaner at Terminal 3 tested positive on May 5.

JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT, TERMINALS 1 AND 3 CLOSED TO PUBLIC UNTIL MAY 27

Amid a spike in the number of cases linked to the airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) have closed Jewel Changi Airport as well as Terminals 1 and 3 to members of the public from Thursday.

“Access to the passenger terminal buildings will be restricted to only passengers with air tickets and essential airport workers," said the authorities.

Members of the public will not be allowed to enter the passenger terminal buildings or Jewel Changi Airport for the next 14 days, until May 27.

All workers in Terminals 1 and 3, as well as Jewel Changi Airport, have been undergoing mandatory COVID-19 tests in a special testing operation that began on Sunday. Terminal 2 has been closed since May 1, 2020.

FREE TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO VISITED T3

On Wednesday, MOH said it will offer free testing for members of the public who had visited Terminal 3 from May 3 onwards.

On Thursday, MOH said it will extend the free testing to those who visited Terminal 3 from May 1 onwards. 

"MOH will progressively inform these individuals via SMS notification with information on how to book an appointment for their test," it added.

All visitors to Terminal 1 and Jewel from May 1 onwards are also advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit.

"They are strongly encouraged to visit a regional screening centre or Swab and Send Home Public Health Preparedness Clinic for a free COVID-19 test if they feel unwell," added MOH.

As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,453 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities.

This story has been updated to include responses from McDonald's and Gojek Singapore.

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Source: CNA/vc(rw)

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