New COVID-19 cluster linked to cleaner at Changi Airport

New COVID-19 cluster linked to cleaner at Changi Airport

Travellers at Changi Airport
People in masks at Changi Airport in Singapore on Mar 15, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: A new cluster at Changi Airport with eight COVID-19 cases has formed after four more workers at the airport tested positive, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its daily update on Sunday (May 9).

The first case detected in the cluster, on May 5, is an 88-year-old Singaporean cleaner who works at Changi Airport Terminal 3. On Saturday, three more workers at the airport tested positive - a cleaner, a safety coordinator and an aviation officer.

Four new cases at the airport were detected on Sunday - two cleaners, a Certis Cisco officer and a SATS passenger escort. All of them work at Changi Airport Terminal 3.  

They were among 10 new community cases reported on Sunday.

READ: 10 community cases among 28 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore

Two of the new cases - a cleaner and the Certis Cisco officer, have tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant first found in India, and are pending further confirmatory tests.

This brings the number of open clusters in Singapore to 11.

TWO MORE CLEANERS TEST POSITIVE

Two more cleaners employed by Ramky Cleantech Services deployed at Changi Airport have tested positive.

The first case is a 51-year-old work permit holder from China, who is identified as Case 62971. She has tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant from India and this is pending further confirmatory tests, said MOH. 

She is a colleague of the 88-year-old Singaporean cleaner - Case 62873. 

The woman was tested on May 5 as part of rostered routine testing but her pooled test result came back inconclusive, and she was tested again on May 7.

On the same day, as she had been identified as a close contact of Case 62873, she was contacted by MOH and placed on phone surveillance. 

That night, she developed symptoms - a cough and headache. 

She sought medical treatment at a polyclinic on May 8 and her test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection on the same day. She was taken to Gleneagles Hospital. 

The ministry said that her earlier tests from rostered routine testing, with the last being on Apr 21, were all negative for COVID-19 infection and her serology test result is also negative. 

The second case is a 63-year-old Singaporean who is a trolley handler and cleaner. Case 63015 is fully vaccinated and received his first dose on Jan 22 and the second dose on Feb 15.

The man developed a sore throat on May 3 and cough on 6 May but did not seek medical treatment, said the ministry. 

After he developed a runny nose on May 8, he sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic, where he was tested for COVID-19. 

MOH contacted him as he was identified as a colleague of Case 62873 and the man was placed on quarantine the same day. He reported his symptoms, and was taken to a hospital for assessment. 

On May 9, his test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection and he was taken to Sengkang General Hospital. 

His earlier tests from rostered routine testing, with the last being on Apr 12, were all negative for COVID-19 infection, said the Health Ministry, adding that his serology test result is pending. 

CERTIS CISCO OFFICER

Case 62972 is a 57-year-old Singaporean employed by Certis Cisco as an auxiliary police officer at Changi Airport Terminal 3. His job entails maintaining crowd control and checking of travellers’ documents. 

He is fully vaccinated and received his first dose of the vaccine on Feb 15 and the second dose on Mar 8.

He has also tested preliminarily positive for the B1617 variant, and is pending further confirmatory tests.

The man developed a cough on May 7 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on the same day, where he was tested for COVID-19. 

His test result came back positive the next day, and he was taken to Alexandra Hospital. His earlier tests from rostered routine testing – the last being on May 2 – were all negative for COVID-19 infection and his serological test result is also negative.

SATS PASSENGER ESCORT

The fourth case is a a 66-year-old Singaporean who works as a SATS passenger escort.

Case 63026 is fully vaccinated. He received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 29 and the second dose on Feb 19. 

The man developed a runny nose and sore throat on May 8 and went to a general practitioner clinic on the same day, where he was tested for COVID-19, said MOH. 

His test result came back positive on May 9. His serological test result is pending.

READ: About 9,000 to be tested as Changi Airport steps up COVID-19 precautionary measures

MOH has started special COVID-19 testing operations for all workers in Changi Airport Terminals 1 and 3, as well as Jewel Changi Airport. 

As an added precautionary measure, Changi Airport Terminal 3 Basement 2 will be closed to the public temporarily from Monday.

Members of the public who had visited the terminal on May 3 should monitor their health closely for 14 days from their date of visit, said MOH. There will be free COVID-19 testing for them.

MOH said it will progressively inform these individuals by SMS from Monday, with information on how to book an appointment for their test.

As of Sunday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,359 COVID-19 cases and 31 fatalities.

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Source: CNA/hm

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