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3 COVID-19 cases found among people serving stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard hotel

3 COVID-19 cases found among people serving stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard hotel

Mandarin Orchard Singapore. (Screengrab: Google Street View)

SINGAPORE: Three people among those serving stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel were found to have COVID-19, said Ministry of Health (MOH) on Sunday (Dec 20).

This comes after Saturday's announcement that 13 COVID-19 cases who had served their stay-home notice at the hotel in November had "high genetic similarity" despite coming from different countries.

Three hotel staff members were also likely to have been previously infected, said MOH on Sunday.

A total of 394 people serving their stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel were swabbed for COVID-19. Test results for 384 were ready while 10 were still pending, said MOH. A total of 381 tested negative for COVID-19 infection while three tested positive. 

The three cases that tested positive were immediately taken to hospital via ambulance. 

"As they have recent travel history, it is likely that these are imported and have been included in today’s (Sunday) case count," said MOH. 

In its evening update, MOH said all three had arrived from India. They were not indicated as contacts of each other.

On Sunday, Singapore reported 19 new COVID-19 cases, all imported.

READ: 19 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, all imported

MOH added that the National Public Health Laboratory would conduct "whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis" to determine if the three cases were linked to the 13 earlier infections.

It would take about four weeks to culture the virus and complete the genome sequencing, said MOH. 

The ministry said staff members working at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore were also tested. In a release on Sunday evening, MOH updated the number of those tested from 158 to 571. Of these, 158 test results have been processed and 413 results are pending.

All 158 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results came back negative for the virus. However, serological tests of three staff members came back positive, indicating likely past infections. 

"Epidemiological investigations of these cases are in progress," said MOH. 

13 EARLIER CASES

On Saturday, MOH announced that it was investigating 13 COVID-19 cases among people who had served their stay-home notice at Mandarin Orchard Singapore between Oct 22 and Nov 11. 

The 13 cases were confirmed between Nov 2 and Nov 11 to have COVID-19 and were classified as imported cases due to their recent travel history. 

The hotel stopped accepting new guests on Saturday. Those who were serving their stay-home notice at the hotel were also transported to an alternative stay-home notice dedicated facility. 

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Source: CNA/lk(ac)

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