10 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including Berries teacher, PSA employee

10 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including Berries teacher, PSA employee

singapore street scene (1)
A woman walks her dog along the promenade at Marina Bay in Singapore on Dec 11, 2020. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: A teacher with the Berries enrichment centre chain and a PSA employee were the two COVID-19 community cases among 10 new infections reported in Singapore on Thursday (Feb 25).

The remaining eight cases were imported cases and had been placed on stay-home notice upon arrival, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update.

No new infections were reported in foreign worker dormitories.

PSA EMPLOYEE VACCINATED BUT LIKELY INFECTED EARLIER: MOH

The PSA employee had received both doses of his COVID-19 vaccination but was likely to have been infected before the vaccine protected him from the infection, said MOH.

The 33-year-old Malaysian arrived in Singapore on Dec 23 last year and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Jan 6. His swab taken on Jan 3 was negative.

The man is a work permit holder who works at PSA as a lashing specialist.

He was asymptomatic and his infection was detected after a test on Feb 21 as part of rostered routine testing and an individual test two days later. 

He was subsequently taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases by ambulance.

His serology test result has come back positive but MOH has assessed that this is likely a current infection.

According to MOH, the man received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 22 and the second dose on Feb 14.

"This accounts for his positive serology test as he has likely started producing antibodies following vaccination," said the ministry.

"However as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination, he was likely to have been infected before he was conferred protection after vaccination."

BERRIES TUITION TEACHER

The other community case, a teacher at the Yishun branch of Berries World of Learning School, developed a runny nose on Feb 23 after work, said MOH.

The 27-year-old Singapore permanent resident sought medical treatment at a clinic the following day, where she was tested for COVID-19.

Her test came back positive for COVID-19 on Feb 25 and she was taken in an ambulance to Singapore General Hospital. Her serology test result is pending.

Berries' Yishun branch will be closed until Feb 28 for cleaning and disinfection as a precautionary measure, said MOH.

PLACES VISITED BY CASES WHILE INFECTIOUS

Raffles City Shopping Centre and NTUC FairPrice at Sembawang Mart were added to a list of places visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period.

Raffles City was visited on Feb 14, while the FairPrice supermarket was visited on Feb 21.

MOH new places Feb 25
(Table: MOH)

IMPORTED CASES

Among the eight imported cases, two Singaporeans and two permanent residents returned from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Three cases were foreign domestic workers who arrived from Indonesia and the Philippines.

The remaining case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from India to visit her family member, a Singapore permanent resident.

24 MORE CASES DISCHARGED

Another 24 COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, said MOH. A total of 59,785 cases have fully recovered from the infection.

There are now 16 confirmed patients who are still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with one in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Seventy cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities.

READ: Singapore receives its first shipment of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine

READ: Singapore discussing COVID-19 vaccine certification with other countries, says PM Lee



SINGAPORE NOT EXPECTED TO MOVE OUT OF PHASE 3 "ANYTIME SOON"

The Government does not expect Singapore to move out of the third phase of its post-circuit breaker COVID-19 reopening "anytime soon", said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary in Parliament on Thursday.

"Phase 3 is a new normal which will last until such time when there is evidence on vaccine effectiveness in preventing future outbreaks, a substantial proportion of the population is vaccinated, and the rest of the world also has the virus under control," said Dr Puthucheary.

Since Singapore entered Phase 3 on Dec 28 last year, there has been an increase in COVID-19 outbreaks in many countries as well as the emergence of more easily transmitted variants of the virus, he added.

READ: Singapore not expected to move out of Phase 3 'anytime soon': Janil Puthucheary

READ: Singapore could allow travellers to choose stay-home notice facility: MND

The Government is also studying the possibility of letting inbound travellers pick their choice of stay-home accommodation, said Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office and National Development Tan Kiat How on Thursday.

"We understand that travellers would like to have more choice and flexibility for their SDFs (Stay-Home Notice Dedicated Facilities)," he said in Parliament, in response to a question on whether there could be a tiered pricing plan for SDFs.

Several hotels have been designated as dedicated facilities for those arriving in Singapore to serve their stay-home notice, to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the community.

Around 190,000 travellers have stayed at these facilities, said Mr Tan. 

As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,900 COVID-19 cases.

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Source: CNA/zl

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