Papua New Guinea national is Singapore's sole community infection, linked to 3 previously confirmed cases

Papua New Guinea national is Singapore's sole community infection, linked to 3 previously confirmed cases

People wear face masks are seen in the financial business district in Singapore
People wearing face masks are seen in the financial business district in Singapore on Feb 16, 2021. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A Papua New Guinea national, who was on a controlled itinerary during a work project in Singapore is the sole COVID-19 community case among 27 new infections reported on Wednesday (Apr 14).

The 44-year-old man is linked to three previously reported COVID-19 cases, forming a new cluster of infections, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

He is also the first new COVID-19 case reported in the community since last Saturday.

Identified as Case 61917, the man tested negative for COVID-19 on Mar 23 during his pre-departure test in Australia. He also tested negative in his on-arrival test in Singapore on Mar 25. 

He remained isolated until another test on Mar 27 also came back negative.

"Subsequently he was on a controlled itinerary, which was largely limited to his place of work and accommodation," MOH said. 

"Another test done on Mar 31 also came back negative for COVID-19."

As the man had been identified as a close contact of Cases 61461 and 61470 - who both tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr 1 - he was placed in quarantine at a dedicated facility. 

A swab taken on Apr 2 during his quarantine also came back negative for COVID-19.

The man remained in quarantine and took another test on Apr 12. 

He was confirmed to be COVID-19 positive on Apr 13, and was taken to a hospital. The man is asymptomatic and his serology test result is pending, said MOH.

"We have classified this case as locally transmitted as he had repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 before Apr 12," MOH said, adding that he was likely to have been infected through his exposure with the two cases during the course of their work. 

Cases 61461 and 61470 are also Papua New Guinea nationals holding short-term visit passes. The two men, aged 54 and 30 respectively, arrived from Papua New Guinea on Mar 27 for work projects in Singapore. 

The three men are part of a new cluster of infections linked to Case 61360, a 50-year-old Colombian national who also arrived in Singapore from Papua New Guinea on Mar 27. The Colombian was also on a short-term visit pass for a work project, and was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 on Mar 30.

This is the first new COVID-19 cluster in Singapore since Mar 25.

CNA has sought further information from MTI on the work project that Case 61917 was involved with and his movements while under the controlled itinerary.

READ: Myanmar maid who is Singapore’s new COVID-19 community infection was close contact of a previous case

READ: Migrant worker who tested positive for COVID-19 completed vaccination

The remaining 26 cases reported in Singapore on Wednesday were imported and were placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

No new infections were reported in migrant workers’ dormitories.

Singapore has reported a total of 60,719 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday and 30 fatalities.

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Source: CNA/kg(ta)

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