2 community cases among 18 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including Changi Airport cleaner and NSF

2 community cases among 18 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including Changi Airport cleaner and NSF

People in masks at Changi Airport 6
People in protective face masks walk at Changi Airport Terminal 3. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Two community cases were among the 18 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (May 6).

The cases involve a cleaner deployed to Changi Airport Terminal 3 and a full-time national serviceman (NSF), said the Ministry of Health (MOH). It is the second consecutive day no new COVID-19 cases have been linked to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore's largest active cluster.

One of the new community cases is an 88-year-old Singaporean who is employed by Ramky Cleantech Services as a cleaner and deployed at Changi Airport Terminal 3. He had not gone to work after the onset of symptoms, said the Health Ministry.

The man, known as Case 62873, developed a runny nose and cough on May 4 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic, where he was tested for COVID-19.

His test result came back positive the next day and he was taken to Sengkang General Hospital in an ambulance. 

His earlier tests from rostered routine testing - the last being on Apr 16 - were all negative for COVID-19 infection. His serological test result is pending. 

The man received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 22 and the second dose on Feb 15. His case is currently unlinked.

CLUSTER LINKED TO LASHING SPECIALIST GROWS

The other community case reported on Thursday is a 22-year-old permanent resident who is an NSF. Known as Case 62877, he is a household contact of Case 62824, a Singaporean who works as a trailer truck driver at Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal.

As he had been identified as a close contact of Case 62824, the man was placed on quarantine on May 4 and immediately isolated while in Sembawang Camp.

READ: Coffee shop in Woodlands visited eight times by COVID-19 cases during infectious period

He was tested for COVID-19 on May 5 even though he was asymptomatic. His test result came back positive the next day and he was taken in an ambulance to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. His serology test result is negative.

Case 62877 has been added to the cluster linked to Case 61822, a 23-year-old Indian national who works as a lashing specialist at Pasir Panjang Terminal. The cluster now has a total of five infections.

The Ministry of Defence said the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been in touch with the NSF and his family to "render support and assistance".

"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 also been swab tested and are under quarantine," the Defence Ministry added.

IMPORTED CASES

The remaining 16 cases were imported and were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore.

They include seven permanent residents who returned from India, as well as a dependant's pass holder who arrived from Nepal.

Also among the imported cases were six work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh and Indonesia, of whom four are foreign domestic workers.

The remaining two imported cases are a work pass holder who arrived from Malaysia, as well as a student's pass holder who arrived from India and who had earlier been emplaced on his course.

READ: COVID-19: Some indoor sports facilities to close temporarily, outdoor exercise classes to continue with reduced capacity

"The arrivals from the Indian sub-continent had already come into Singapore before the restrictions on travel were imposed," said MOH.

Since 11.59pm on Apr 23, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history, including transit, to India within the past 14 days were not be allowed entry into or to transit through Singapore

These border measures were also applied from 11.59pm on May 1 to all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history, including transit, to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

No new infections were reported in migrant workers' dormitories.

INCREASE IN OVERALL NUMBER OF COMMUNITY CASES

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from 28 cases in the week before to 48 cases in the past week. 

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

Among the 165 cases reported from Apr 30 to May 6, a total of 47 cases have tested positive for their serology tests while 86 have tested negative. Another 32 serology test results are pending.

READ: 0.13% of total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered reported to have suspected adverse effects: HSA

Twenty-nine more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 60,873.

There are 120 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 262 are being isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.



NEW COVID-19 CLUSTER REPORTED AT PASIR PANJANG TERMINAL

PSA Singapore Port workers will be tested for COVID-19 infection after a new cluster was reported at Pasir Panjang Terminal on Wednesday. 

MOH said it will conduct "special testing operations" as a precautionary measure, after a trailer truck driver at Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. 

The 59-year-old Singaporean man is employed by GKE Express Logistics and was last at work on May 1.

The man, identified as Case 62824, is linked to three previous dormitory cases, all of whom had been at Pasir Panjang Terminal for work. The three dormitory cases tested positive last month.

PRE-EVENT TESTING FOR WORSHIP SERVICES

People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who produce an exemption notice will be able to take part in worship services with more than 100 people without pre-event testing, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said on Wednesday. 

Pre-event testing will be required for congregational and other worship services involving more than 100 people. These services may only have up to 250 people, separated into zones of 50 people each.

READ: Enhanced precautionary measures for religious organisations under tightened COVID-19 measures

READ: Cinemas, religious organisations to cut capacity to 100 people to avoid pre-event testing requirement

For services with more than 100 people, all worshippers must be tested. They must present a valid negative COVID-19 test result before being admitted into the service venues.

The test must be approved by MOH - either an antigen rapid test or polymerase chain reaction test administered by an approved test provider.

The requirements for pre-event testing do not apply to worshippers who have been fully vaccinated, or to those who produce an exemption notice before being admitted into the venue.

As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,286 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities from the disease.

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Source: CNA/lk/zl(mi)

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