SINGAPORE: Singapore confirmed two new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday (Feb 6), bringing the total number of people infected in the country to 30, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
One of the cases is a 41-year-old Singaporean with no recent travel history to China and who does not appear to be linked with previous confirmed cases, MOH added. He was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital on Monday and was confirmed to have the virus at 11pm on Wednesday.
According to MOH, the man said he had developed a fever on Jan 28 and visited a GP clinic the next day. On Jan 30, he sought treatment at another GP clinic before being admitted to Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital on Monday.
Epidemiological investigations and contact tracing are ongoing to identify individuals who had close contact with this patient, said MOH, and to establish any contact he may have had with confirmed cases in Singapore or travellers from mainland China.
CASE 30 ATTENDED GRAND HYATT MEETING
Another confirmed case is a 27-year-old Singaporean who also had no recent travel history to China.
According to MOH, he is one of the four Singapore residents who are being investigated at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) after attending a private business meeting at Grand Hyatt Singapore from Jan 20 to 22.
The meeting included participants from China, including Hubei province, as well as the confirmed cases from Malaysia and South Korea. Subsequent test results confirmed infection with the novel coronavirus on Feb 6 at about 2pm.
Contact tracing for the confirmed cases is ongoing, MOH said, adding that, once identified, they will also be quarantined for 14 days from their last exposure to the patient.
The number of close contacts identified by MOH as of noon on Thursday is 435. Of the 353 still in Singapore, 348 have been contacted and have either been quarantined or isolated, said the health ministry. Efforts are ongoing to reach out to five more close contacts, MOH added.
In response to CNA's queries, Grand Hyatt on Friday morning said that none of its employees have been diagnosed as a suspect or confirmed case.
"The hotel is conducting daily temperature checks for all colleagues and contractors whilst entering or exiting the hotel," said the spokesperson.
"Our colleagues will continue to remain vigilant in monitoring symptoms among colleagues and guests."
CONDITION OF TWO EARLIER PATIENTS WORSEN
Of the earlier confirmed cases, MOH said that two patients' conditions have worsened, with one in critical condition in the intensive care unit. Another requires additional oxygen support.
On Thursday night, the ministry also released new information about case 27, the husband of a salesperson at Yong Thai Hang and one of the locally transmitted cases linked to a Chinese tour group that visited the health products shop.
The 45-year-old Singaporean developed symptoms on Feb 1, visited a GP clinic the following day and was subsequently isolated at the NCID.
Prior to hospital admission, he stayed at his home at Jalan Bukit Merah and worked as a private hire driver, MOH said. He also visited Tiong Bahru Plaza, Tiong Bahru Market and Beo Crescent Market and Food Centre.
"The risk of infection from transient contact, such as on public transport or in public places, is assessed to be low," the ministry said.
The family's six-month-old son and Indonesian domestic helper also caught the virus and are currently warded in isolation rooms.
As of noon on Thursday, 310 suspect cases have tested negative, with the test results of the remaining 147 cases pending, MOH added.
Singapore confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on Jan 23, a 66-year-old Wuhan resident who arrived in Singapore from Guangzhou on Jan 20.
To date, one of the 30 confirmed cases has been discharged.
Singapore announced its first cluster of local transmission of the virus earlier this week.
Last Friday, it was announced that all new visitors with recent travel history to mainland China will not be allowed to enter Singapore. These visitors will also not be allowed to transit in Singapore.
Those with Chinese passports, with the exception of Singapore permanent residents and long-term pass holders, will also not be allowed to enter Singapore.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have started in Wuhan in China's Hubei province but has since spread to more than 20 countries around the world.
It has killed more than 600 people and infected more than 28,000 globally. The World Health Organization has declared the virus outbreak a global emergency.
Most deaths have been in Hubei province and officials have noted that the death rate, at about 2 per cent, is below the mortality rate of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).