Singaporean who issues stay-home notice tracking devices at Changi Airport among 24 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

Singaporean who issues stay-home notice tracking devices at Changi Airport among 24 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

People in masks at Changi Airport 8
People wearing protective face masks walking at Changi Airport Terminal 1. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man who works at Changi Airport issuing electronic monitoring devices to incoming travellers on stay-home notice was among the 24 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Sunday (Feb 7), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The 43-year-old man, who is currently unlinked to other cases, was Singapore's sole community case reported on Sunday. He is employed by BGC Group and works at Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3.

"His job entails issuing electronic monitoring devices to individuals who will be serving (stay-home notice) outside of dedicated facilities, and helping them to wear the devices. While on duty, he wears a surgical mask, face shield and gloves," said MOH.

The man is asymptomatic. His infection was detected after he went for rostered routine testing on Feb 4.

His result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on Feb 5 and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases that same day.

His previous routine tests, with the last being on Jan 22, were negative for COVID-19 infection.

His serology test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection, said MOH.

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing. In the meantime, all of the man's identified close contacts, including his family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period to detect asymptomatic cases. Serological tests will also be conducted for the close contacts to determine if the man could have been infected by them.

Singapore introduced electronic monitoring devices in August last year for all incoming travellers serving their stay-home notice outside of dedicated facilities. Those aged 12 and below are exempted from this requirement.

These individuals are issued with the device at the checkpoints, after immigration clearance.

They are required to activate the electronic monitoring device upon reaching their place of residence. If the device is not activated as required, the authorities will follow up to determine their location, and assist to resolve any technical difficulties, or take enforcement action, as the case may be.

More than 280,000 stay-home notices and more than 16,000 electronic wristbands for people on stay-home notice were issued by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority last year.

IMPORTED CASES

The remaining 23 cases were imported and had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival. Of those 21 were asymptomatic, and three were symptomatic.

The imported cases include two Singaporeans and one permanent resident who returned from Canada, Ethiopia, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Six of them are dependant's pass holders who arrived from India, Spain, the UAE and the United States.

There are five work pass holders who arrived from Spain and the UAE.

Eight of the cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines​​​​​​​. Three of them are foreign domestic workers.

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

No new infections were reported in foreign worker dormitories.

ONE CASE STILL IN CRITICAL CONDITION

Twenty-eight more cases of COVID-19 infection have been discharged, bringing the total number of recoveries to 59,433.

There are 36 cases in hospital, with one remaining in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 201 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

Overall, the number of new cases in the community has decreased from three cases in the week before to two cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at two cases per week in the past two weeks.

"We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme," said MOH.

Among the 163 confirmed cases reported from Feb 1 to Feb 7, 82 cases have tested positive for their serology tests, 30 have tested negative and 51 test results are pending.

As of Sunday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,699 COVID-19 cases, with 29 fatalities.

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MOH said on Saturday that a resident staying at a migrant worker dormitory is Singapore’s first likely case of COVID-19 re-infection.

The case is a 28-year-old Bangladeshi work permit holder who stays in a dormitory at 43 Tech Park Crescent. 

He was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Apr 12 last year. He tested positive again on Jan 25 this year. 

"He was identified from rostered monitoring testing conducted as part of MOH’s surveillance of recovered workers to monitor their postinfection immunity," said the ministry.

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When the man was confirmed to have had COVID-19 last year, he was identified as Case 2513 and was part of the cluster of infections at Tech Park Crescent dormitory.

He recovered from that infection and tested negative for COVID-19 from last June.

However, the man tested positive for COVID-19 once again on Jan 25 this year and was isolated. "Numerous repeat tests conducted subsequently were also positive for the virus," said MOH on Saturday. 

The man's new infection was not previously stated in the ministry's situation reports. CNA has sought further information from MOH.

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Source: CNA/zl

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