SINGAPORE: Singapore's sole COVID-19 community case reported on Monday (Dec 28) is a Singapore Airlines steward who recently travelled to the United States for work.
He has been classified as a locally transmitted case due to a "relatively long time interval" between his travel and positive COVID-19 test, the Health Ministry (MOH) said.
The man, who is also a part-time private hire driver with Grab, was detected to have the infection through proactive testing of air crew who have returned from overseas flights, arranged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.
The 48-year-old had travelled to the US from Dec 12 to Dec 16 on a "controlled itinerary", said MOH.
He was tested for COVID-19 on Dec 23, but the result came back inconclusive on Dec 25, necessitating another test.
A second test conducted on Dec 25 was also inconclusive.
The man, who is asymptomatic, had remained at home while awaiting the further tests, said MOH.
On Dec 27, his swab came back positive for COVID-19 infection and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Disease on the same day.
The man's serological test result is negative, which indicates that he is likely to have a current infection.
The cabin crew who were on the same US flight as the man all tested negative for COVID-19 on Dec 23, added the ministry.
"Given the relatively long time interval between his travel and positive COVID-19 test, we have classified this case as locally transmitted while epidemiological investigations are in progress," said MOH.
"In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the case, including his family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases."
The ministry said it will also conduct serological tests for the man's close contacts to determine if he could have been infected by them.
Singapore reported a total of 5 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the national tally to 58,529.
Four of them are imported cases who travelled from India, Myanmar and the United Kingdom.