4 new COVID-19 cases linked to Science Park cluster, including Filipino maid

4 new COVID-19 cases linked to Science Park cluster, including Filipino maid

People wearing protective face mask at Orchard Road
People are seen wearing protective face masks at Orchard Road, Singapore on Jan 28, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

SINGAPORE: Four new COVID-19 cases linked to the cluster at Wizlearn Technologies in Science Park have emerged, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Feb 29).

The new cases, which include a domestic worker from the Philippines, bring the total number of infections in Singapore past the 100 mark to 102. 

Another three patients have been discharged (Cases 20, 68 and 75), bringing the number of recovered cases to 72.

Of the 30 confirmed patients who are still in hospital, most are stable or improving, said the ministry. Seven are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

feb 29 moh update graphic

4 MORE CASES LINKED TO WIZLEARN TECHNOLOGIES

All four new cases identified in Singapore are linked to the cluster at Wizlearn Technologies. 

N​​​one of them had travelled to China, Daegu and Cheongdo recently.

Case 99 is a 27-year-old Singaporean man who lives at Jurong West Street 81.

He is a close contact of Case 93, an employee of Wizlearn Technologies who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Feb 26.

He first reported symptoms on Feb 21 and sought treatment at a general practitioner (GP) clinic on Feb 25 and again at Pioneer Polyclinic on Feb 28.

As he had been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, the man was referred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and isolated on Feb 28. His diagnosis was confirmed that afternoon.

The 100th case is a 20-year-old Malaysian man who lives at Holland Avenue.

He, too, is a close contact of Case 93.

The man started feeling ill on Feb 27 and sought treatment at a GP clinic the next day.

As he had been identified as a close contact, he was referred by MOH to NCID on Feb 28 and isolated. Test results that afternoon confirmed he had COVID-19.

Cases 101 is a 61-year-old Singaporean man linked to Case 93, while Case 102 is his Filipino helper.

Case 101 was confirmed as having coronavirus on Saturday morning and currently warded in an isolation room at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH).

The man's 41-year-old Filipino helper was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Saturday morning and is also warded at NTFGH.

THREE PATIENTS DISCHARGED

Among those who have recovered is Case 20, a 48-year-old Singaporean woman who works as salesperson at Yong Thai Hong. She was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 4.

Case 68, a 79-year-old Singaporean woman, is a family member of Case 66. She diagnosis was confirmed on Feb 14.

The last patient discharged on Saturday is Case 75, a 71-year-old Singaporean woman.

She is a family member of Case 41 and had been quarantined since Feb 7. She was confirmed as having the virus on Feb 16.

UPDATE ON CASE 98

Case 98, announced on Friday, is a 24-year-old male Singapore permanent resident who is also linked to the cluster at Wizlearn Technologies. He is linked to Cases 93, 95 and 97. 

The man, who lives at Jurong West Street 61, started feeling ill on Feb 27 and sought treatment at a GP clinic the same day. He was taken to NCID by ambulance and confirmed with COVID-19 the next morning.

COVID-19, which emerged in China late last year, has killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than 80,000, mainly in mainland China.

The virus has also spread across the world, with a rising number of cases reported in more than 50 countries and territories.

Earlier on Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its global risk assessment of COVID-19 to the "very high" - the highest level

However, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities. As long as that's the case, we still have a chance of containing this virus."

Explore: Real-time interactive map of all the confirmed cases reported around the world

Singapore has implemented various measures, including border restrictions, contact tracing and quarantine policies, to contain the spread of the coronavirus since the first case was detected in late January.

A couple from Wuhan were charged under the Infectious Diseases Act on Friday for  obstructing the work of health officials containing the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said that a man who breached a Stay-Home Notice had lost his permanent residency and will be barred from re-entering Singapore.

Singapore has also set out a slew of measures in Budget 2020  - including a S$4 billion stabilisation and support package - to help businesses and workers weather through the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The measures are calibrated "to put sufficient purchasing power back into the economy, while injecting a boost of confidence", Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said during the Budget debate on Friday.

Mr Heng also said that Singapore has not had to draw on past reserves, but would not rule out doing so if the situation deteriorates significantly.

Mr Heng also announced on Friday that Singapore will award public officers on the front line of the COVID-19 battle with a special bonus of up to one month, while all political office holders, Members of Parliament and President Halimah Yacob will take a one-month cut in their salary.

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Source: CNA/hs

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