21 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new cluster linked to Marina Bay Sands Casino dealer

21 new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore; new cluster linked to Marina Bay Sands Casino dealer

File photo of the main gambling floor of Marina Bay Sands Casino
File photo of the main gambling floor of Marina Bay Sands Casino. (Photo: Reuters)

SINGAPORE: Twenty-one COVID-19 community cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Monday (May 17), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

Ten cases were linked to previous infections, while 11 had no links to other cases. Six of the 21 cases had been placed on quarantine earlier, said the ministry.

There were also seven imported cases, who had already been placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore. 

Including the imported cases, Singapore reported a total of 28 infections. No new infections were reported in foreign workers' dormitories.

NEW CLUSTER LINKED TO MARINA BAY SANDS CASINO DEALER

A new cluster linked to Case 63317, a 36-year-old male Malaysian man who works as a dealer at Marina Bay Sands Casino, has been identified.

One of the new community cases, Case 63350, is a 34-year-old Malaysian who is currently unemployed and was detected through surveillance. He is a household contact of Case 63317.

He developed a fever and a cough on May 12, and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on May 15, where he tested positive in his antigen rapid test (ART). 

READ: Two students, teacher from 3 different primary schools test positive for COVID-19

He was immediately isolated and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was taken on the same day. His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on May 16. His serology test result is pending. 

He has tested "preliminarily positive" for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests. The variant was first detected in India.

3 MORE CASES TEST PRELIMINARILY POSITIVE FOR B1617 VARIANT

Besides Case 63350, another three more people have tested preliminarily positive for the same variant.

A 37-year-old Singaporean who is a teacher at Frontier Primary School and a 16-year-old student at Singapore Polytechnic are the two unlinked cases who have tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant.

The polytechnic student, known as Case 63356, is a 16-year-old permanent resident. Singapore Polytechnic said that the Year 1 student from the School of Computing was last on campus on the afternoon of May 14, and started developing symptoms when he was home that evening. 

The remaining case that also tested preliminarily positive for the variant is a 49-year-old Certis Cisco aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3. She is linked to the cluster there.

READ: Tan Tock Seng Hospital to resume admissions, measures stepped up after COVID-19 outbreak

The other unlinked cases include a Singaporean student at the National Institute of Education (NIE) who also works part-time as a private tutor. There is a 76-year-old Singaporean retiree, a 57-year-old Singaporean administrative staff member at Pacific Law Corporation and a 22-year-old Singaporean who works at Invade Industry. 

A 28-year-old Singaporean who works as a retail assistant at Alan Photo in Funan Mall, a 45-year-old Indonesian who is employed by Clean Hub Facility as a cleaner at EuHabitat, a 47-year-old Singaporean who works at the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore and a 32-year-old Singaporean who works as an IT engineer at AbbVie Operations Singapore are also among the unlinked community cases.

The IT engineer, known as Case 63357, is also a Singapore Polytechnic student. The man is an adult learner enrolled in a part-time Continuing Education and Training course from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Singapore Polytechnic said he was last on campus on May 15 for an evening class, when "campus footfall is generally lower than in the day". 

The student was asymptomatic while on campus and developed symptoms the next day.

Singapore Polytechnic said that there is no evidence at this point to show that the two new cases reported on Monday are linked to a previously confirmed case, who is also a student at the polytechnic

Those in close contact with the two new cases have been quarantined, said the polytechnic. It has also issued a leave of absence to the students’ other classmates and contacts.

As a further precautionary measure, all the remaining lessons in Singapore Polytechnic will be conducted online from May 18 to May 28. The remaining labs and practical classes will be conducted online if suitable, or deferred until a later date. 

READ: World Economic Forum cancels special annual meeting in Singapore

NSF TESTS POSITIVE

The remaining unlinked case is a full-time national serviceman (NSF). The 20-year-old, known as Case 63366, has completed the full vaccination regimen. 

He developed a runny nose on May 12 but did not seek medical treatment until May 16 when he also developed a cough.

He was tested for COVID-19 and his test result came back positive on May 17. His serology test result is pending. 

The Ministry of Defence said the serviceman is currently warded at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been in contact with him and his family to render support and assistance.

"The serviceman last visited Sungei Gedong Camp on May 14. As part of precautionary measures in place for positive cases detected, the SAF has carried out immediate and thorough disinfection of the premises the serviceman had been in. 

"All personnel who had been identified as close contacts have been swab tested and are under quarantine," said MINDEF.

READ: COVID-19: Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble to be deferred for a second time

MORE CASES LINKED TO CHANGI AIRPORT

Four more cases are linked to the Changi Airport Terminal 3 cluster, which now has 78 cases in total. It is the biggest active cluster in Singapore.

Three of them were already quarantined and they are all household contacts of previously confirmed cases. 

They are a 37-year-old Indonesian who is a foreign domestic worker, a 63-year-old Singaporean homemaker and an eight-year-old Singaporean who is a student at Fuchun Primary School. 

The remaining case linked to the cluster is the 49-year-old Certis Cisco aviation security officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3 who tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant. 

LEARNING POINT CLUSTER GROWS

Two more cases have been added to the Learning Point cluster. 

The first case, a seven-year-old Singaporean, had already been quarantined. She is a student at Maha Bodhi School and also attends student care at Seedlings World Student Care @ Frankel.

She was identified as a close contact of a previously confirmed case, a St Stephen's School student, who attended classes at Learning Point. 

The other case, which was detected through surveillance, is a 72-year-old Singaporean man. The fully vaccinated retiree is a family member of a nine-year-old Kong Hwa School student, who was previously confirmed to have COVID-19 on May 15.

ANOTHER CASE LINKED TO WOK HEY COOK

A 62-year-old Singaporean retiree has been linked to a cook at Wok Hey in White Sands shopping mall. 

The retiree is a family member and household contact of three previously confirmed cases in the cluster, including the cook.

READ: Visitors to White Sands shopping mall from May 2 to May 11 urged to get tested for COVID-19: MOH

As he had been identified as a close contact of the Wok Hey cook, he was quarantined on May 13. He developed a fever, cough and flu on May 16 and was tested for COVID-19 when he reported his symptoms. 

His test result came back positive on May 17 and his serology test result is pending. 

Members of the public who visited White Sands from May 2 to May 11 are being offered free COVID-19 testing after COVID-19 cases visited the mall during their infectious period. 

The two remaining linked community cases in Singapore are a 36-year-old Filipino foreign domestic worker and a 57-year-old Singaporean who works as an engineer at 3M Innovation Singapore. They are both household contacts of previously confirmed cases. 

2 SINGAPOREANS AMONG IMPORTED CASES

The imported cases include two Singaporeans who returned from India and Malaysia, as well as three dependant’s pass holders who arrived from the Philippines and Russia. 

The remaining cases are a student’s pass holder who arrived from France and a work permit holder who arrived from Malaysia. 

READ: Singapore studying if it should extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses: Ong Ye Kung

INCREASE IN NEW COMMUNITY CASES

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 32 cases in the week before to 149 cases in the past week. 

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from seven cases in the week before to 42 cases in the past week. 

Among the 235 confirmed cases reported from May 11 to May 17, 71 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 142 have tested negative. A further 22 serology test results are pending.

Nineteen more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 61,123.

There are 213 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and three are in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Another 246 cases are being isolated and cared for at community facilities.

More details on specific cases can be found in the Health Ministry’s daily report. 



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As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,613 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities from the disease.

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Source: CNA/hs/lk/kg

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