26 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, all imported

26 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, all imported

People in masks at Changi Airport 15
Changi Airport staff members wearing personal protective equipment assist travellers at the check-in counters. (File photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 26 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Saturday (Feb 6), all imported infections, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).  

There were no new cases in the community or in foreign worker dormitories.

After arriving in Singapore, two of the imported cases had tested negative during their isolation period. However, their pre-departure tests later taken in preparation to travel out of Singapore came back positive. 

One of them is a 12-year-old permanent resident who returned from India on Dec 26. 

She served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility upon arrival, during which she was identified as a close contact of a positive case, a family member who travelled with her.

She was then placed on quarantine until Jan 9. Her COVID-19 test on Jan 8 returned negative.

The girl is asymptomatic and her infection was detected when she took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Feb 4 in preparation for her return to India.

She was to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital when her test result came back positive on Feb 5.

The other case is a 20-year-old permanent resident who returned to Singapore on Nov 29 from the UK, where he is studying.

He served stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 13 and the swab done on Dec 9 was negative for the coronavirus.

He is asymptomatic and the infection was detected through a pre-departure test on Feb 4 in preparation for his return to the UK.

The infection was confirmed on Feb 5 and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

"Both cases had very high Ct value, which is indicative of a low viral load, and their serology test results have also come back positive," said MOH.

"Given that these indicate likely past infection, we have classified the cases as imported based on their travel history. They are likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others."

In all, two Singaporeans and six permanent residents who returned from Gabon, India, Malaysia, the UK and the US tested positive for COVID-19. 

Among the imported cases, a dependant's pass holder and a student's pass holder arrived from India.

There were two work pass holders who travelled from Germany and the UAE.

Nine are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, of which six foreign domestic workers.

The remaining five imported cases are short-term visit pass holders. Three of them arrived from the Philippines and UAE for work projects here, while two travelled here to visit their family members who are Singaporeans or permanent residents.

All of the imported cases were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival.



MOH also announced that it has detected Singapore's first case of likely COVID-19 re-infection. 

A 28-year-old Bangladeshi dormitory resident tested positive on Jan 25, about nine months after he first contracted the disease. 

A resident of a dormitory at 43 Tech Park Crescent, his first infection was confirmed on Apr 12 last year, said MOH. 

"The virus detected in his samples taken in January 2021 is also genetically distinct from that associated with the dormitories outbreak in 2020, suggesting that this is likely a different and new infection," said MOH.

The ministry said it would continue to closely monitor recovered COVID-19 cases to determine their post-infection immunity. It added that there is no indication yet that recovered workers in the dormitories have significant loss of post-infection immunity.

READ: Singapore reports first likely COVID-19 re-infection after Bangladeshi dorm resident tests positive again

Thirty-two more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total number of recoveries to 59,405.

There are 39 patients who are still in hospital. One of them is in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

Another 202 are isolated at community facilities.

SNEC STAFF WRONGLY RECEIVED 5 DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE

An employee at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) was wrongly administered the equivalent of five doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine due to a human error.

Revealing this on Saturday, SNEC said the error happened on Jan 14 during a vaccination exercise conducted at the eye centre for its staff members.

“The staff in charge of diluting the vaccine had been called away to attend to other matters during the preparation of the vaccine, and a second staff member had mistaken the undiluted dose in the vial to be ready for administering,” said SNEC.

The recommended schedule for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is two doses, 21 days apart.

SNEC said the error was discovered within minutes of the vaccination, adding that the affected employee was found to be well, with no adverse reaction or side effects.

READ: Singapore National Eye Centre staff received 5 doses of COVID-19 vaccine due to human error

Receiving more than the recommended dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to be harmful, said MOH, citing clinical trial data from the two pharmaceutical companies.

MOH said the incident at SNEC is an isolated one, and that it has not been notified of any similar incidents at other vaccination sites.

READ: Getting more than recommended dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to be harmful: MOH

The eye centre said the affected employee remains well and is scheduled for the second dosage of the vaccine, pending the blood serology test results. 

As of 12pm on Saturday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,675 COVID-19 cases, with 29 fatalities.

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Source: CNA/kv

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