SINGAPORE: Twenty-four cases in the community were among 34 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (May 13), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Nineteen of the 24 new community cases are linked to the Changi Airport cluster. One is linked to a nurse at Sengkang General Hospital.
Four cases are currently unlinked.
The remaining 10 cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon their arrival in Singapore, said MOH.
2 MAIDS AMONG 4 UNLINKED CASES
Two maids are among four unlinked COVID-19 cases in the community. One is a 43-year-old maid from Myanmar, known as Case 63127. The other is a 51-year-old maid from the Philippines, known as Case 63147.
The Filipino maid tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant from India and is pending confirmatory tests.
She developed a fever on May 8 and sought treatment at a clinic. On May 12, she developed a fever, cough, runny nose and headache and sought treatment at the same clinic, and was tested for COVID-19. Her test came back positive the next day.
The Myanmar maid developed body aches, a runny nose and a fever and sore throat between May 8 to May 10. She sought treatment at a clinic on May 10 and was tested for COVID-19 the next day. Her test result came back positive on May 12.
The other two unlinked cases are a 47-year-old Singaporean housewife and a 50-year-old Singaporean tutor at Learning Point.
The housewife, known as Case 63120, has also tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant and is pending confirmatory tests.
CHANGI AIRPORT CLUSTER GROWS
Nineteen new cases have been linked to the cluster at Changi Airport which now has 46 cases, making it Singapore’s largest active cluster.
The cases include an auxiliary police officer, aviation security officer and two engineers employed by ST Engineering.
A healthcare assistant at Raffles Medical at Changi Airport Terminal 3 Transit and retail executive at a retail store at Changi Airport Terminal 3 are also among new cases linked to the cluster.
Three more cleaners and a cleaning supervisor employed by Ramky Cleantech Services have also tested positive.
A housewife and a GoJek driver who both visited Terminal 3 have also been linked to the cluster.
Three close contacts of airport workers, including a student, a maid and person who works as a crew at a McDonald's outlet at Bedok have also caught the virus.
Eight of the 19 new cases have tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant from India.
STUDENT LINKED TO SENGKANG GENERAL HOSPITAL NURSE
A seven-year-old student at Yio Chu Kang Primary School who tested positive for COVID-19 on May 12 has been linked to an operating theatre nurse at Sengkang General Hospital who tested positive on May 11.
The boy is a household contact of the nurse. Both are Philippine nationals, said MOH.
READ: Yio Chu Kang Primary School to conduct home-based learning after student tests positive for COVID-19
He developed a cough and itchy throat on May 10, and vomited the next day. He sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on May 11, and was tested for COVID-19.
As he had been identified as a close contact of the nurse, he was placed on quarantine on the same day. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on May 12.
Six of 10 imported COVID-19 cases arrived from India, MOH said.
The six include one Singaporean, two permanent residents, two student’s pass holders and one short-term visit pass holder.
"The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," said MOH.
The remaining four imported infections arrived from Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Japan. The case who arrived from Japan is a sea crew member who was tested onboard without disembarking.
No new infections were reported in foreign workers’ dormitories.
23 MORE PATIENTS DISCHARGED
Twenty-three more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 61,029.
There are 150 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and three are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Another 243 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.
As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,453 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities.
FREE TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO VISITED T3
The Health Ministry announced on Wednesday that it would offer free COVID-19 testing for people who had visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 from May 3 onwards.
"Based on further epidemiological findings, we will extend free COVID-19 testing for those who had visited Changi Airport Terminal 3 from May 1 onwards," MOH said in an update on Thursday.
All visitors to Changi Airport Terminal 1 and Jewel from May 1 onwards are also advised to monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit, MOH added.
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.
Jewel Changi Airport as well as Terminals 1 and 3 will be also closed to members of the public from Thursday for 14 days.
All workers in the three buildings 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.
Changi Airport remains open for air travel during this period. Passengers may also continue to be dropped off and picked up from the airport.