3 community cases among 23 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including ICA officer and TTSH nurse

3 community cases among 23 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including ICA officer and TTSH nurse

People wearing protective face masks (10)
File photo of pedestrians wearing protective face masks along Orchard Rd in Singapore on Sep 9, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Three community cases were among 23 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Wednesday (Apr 28).

A nurse deployed at a general ward in Tan Tock Seng Hospital is among the three unlinked community cases, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

She tested positive for COVID-19 infection on Apr 27 and was warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. The nurse has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is possible for vaccinated individuals to get infected, said the Health Ministry. 

Tan Tock Seng Hospital has also locked down the affected Ward 9D, where she was deployed to and tested the patients and staff members who were in the ward. So far, four cases - a doctor and three patients - have tested preliminarily positive for COVID-19 infection. 

READ: Visitor restrictions tightened at Tan Tock Seng Hospital after nurse tests positive for COVID-19

ICA OFFICER DEPLOYED AT CHANGI AIRPORT AMONG COMMUNITY CASES

An Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 1 is among the three cases reported. The man, a 38-year-old Singaporean, had not gone to work after onset of symptoms. 

He developed a cough on Apr 23 and sought medical treatment the next day at a general practitioner clinic, where he was given two days' of medical leave. He developed a fever, anosmia (the loss of the sense of smell) and body aches on Apr 26. 

The man sought medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day. He was tested for COVID-19 and his test came back positive on the same day. 

"His previous tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on Apr 22 – were all negative for COVID-19 infection," said MOH, adding that his serology test is pending. 

The other community case is a 58-year-old Singaporean man who works as a construction project manager in Nepal. Identified as Case 62526, the man was in Nepal from Feb 13, 2020 to Dec 13, 2020. 

The man served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 27 upon returning to Singapore. His test taken on Dec 23 during his quarantine period was negative for COVID-19. 

He is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Apr 26 in preparation for his trip back to Nepal. His test came back positive the next day. He was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance. His serology test is pending. 

MOH said the man's Ct value is "very high", which indicates a low viral load. 

"He could be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA from a past infection which are no longer transmissible and infective to others, but given that we are not able to definitively conclude when he had been infected, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," it added. 

IMPORTED CASES

The remaining 20 cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH. 

Two Singaporeans and a permanent resident who returned from India and the UAE were among the 20 imported cases reported on Wednesday. 

One is a dependent's pass holders who arrived from Nepal and five are work pass holders who arrived from India, Japan, the Maldives, Nepal and Uzbekistan. 

Two foreign domestic workers are among six work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines.

Four other cases are short-term visit pass holders. Three had arrived from India to visit their family members in Singapore while the other case arrived from the Philippines for a work project.

The remaining case is a special pass holder who is a sea crew. He arrived from Indonesia on a vessel without disembarking.




No cases were reported in migrant workers' dormitories.

NEW CLUSTER

A new cluster was reported on Wednesday, with two confirmed cases linked to a previously reported infection, Case 62049. 

Case 62049 is a 79-year-old Indian national who had arrived from India to visit his son, a Singapore permanent resident. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr 16. 

His wife was placed on quarantine in a government quarantine facility and tested negative a few times.

Their son, who is identified as Case 62373, had requested to take care of his mother at the quarantine facility and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 24.

On Apr 27, the 75-year-old woman - Case 62524 - tested positive for COVID-19. 

MOH said 14 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 60,718  have fully recovered from the infection.

There are 112 confirmed cases still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with no patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 226 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. They have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from nine cases in the week before to 13 cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from five cases in the week before to six cases in the past week.

Among the 206 confirmed cases reported from Apr 22 to Wednesday, 90 cases have tested positive for their serology tests. A total of 85 test results were negative, with the remaining 31 serology test results are pending.

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NEW CLUSTER AT WESTLITE WOODLANDS DORMITORY

Five COVID-19 cases who are “likely” reinfections have been found at Westlite Woodlands dormitory, MOH said on Tuesday. 

The five cases occupied the same room at the dormitory together with Cases 62181 and 62225, residents who have previously tested positive for COVID-19, forming a new cluster.

The five men are part of 24 recovered workers who have been found to be positive for the coronavirus as part of special testing operations for Westlite Woodlands dormitory residents. 

READ: Singapore's COVID-19 measure barring visitors from India is not based on nationality: Ong Ye Kung

The ministry said that 11 of the 24 cases have been assessed to be shedding virus fragments. Two of them are negative upon retesting while the remaining six cases are pending assessment by an expert panel.

The tests were done as part of investigations into Case 62181, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr 19. 

The workers were not included in Tuesday's new case numbers

PRE-EMPTIVE TESTING AT DORMITORIES, WORKSITES

Pre-emptive COVID-19 testing is being conducted in dormitories and worksites after the cluster at Westlite Woodlands Dormitory was reported, said the Ministry of Manpower on Wednesday. 

More than 5,500 workers were tested between Apr 23 and Apr 26. 

These tests are in addition to the routine tests conducted on dormitory residents every two weeks. Workers who have recovered from COVID-19 and those who have never been infected are included. 

READ: Pre-emptive COVID-19 testing at dormitories, worksites after new cases detected

Movement restrictions or quarantines may also be imposed on a dormitory if a few workers there test positive for COVID-19, said MOM. 

It added that this precaution is necessary only for the duration of the assessment and will be lifted when tests have concluded.

Workers can still access communal facilities and recreation centres in dormitories, with regulations in place to prevent residents from mingling. However, movement between dormitory blocks is not allowed and safe management measures have been stepped up.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,086 COVID-19 cases.

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Source: CNA/zl

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