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COVID-19: Changi Prison inmate who tested positive was asymptomatic, no link to previous 4 cases

COVID-19: Changi Prison inmate who tested positive was asymptomatic, no link to previous 4 cases

File photo of Changi Prison. (File photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: An inmate who tested postive for COVID-19 on Thursday (Jun 18) was asymptomatic, and is not linked to the four cases reported last month, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said on Friday.

SPS' statement came after the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported on Friday that a prison inmate was among the 142 new COVID-19 cases.

The male inmate, the sole community infection reported on Friday, was on a social visit pass and had arrived in Singapore before the implementation of border measures, said MOH.

He had been segregated from the general inmate population since his admission to Changi Prison on Jun 6, the ministry said.

MAP: COVID-19 cases visited these places while they were infectious 

As part of COVID-19 precautionary measures, all newly admitted inmates at Changi Prison are kept apart from the general inmate population for 14 days.

SPS said in its statement that the foreign inmate was asymptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 following swab tests while he was still in segregation.

The man has since been transferred to a separate prison facility outside of Changi Prison and isolated. His condition is being closely monitored by medical staff, said SPS.

The rest of the inmates who were admitted on the same day as the man have been tested, and the results have returned as negative, said SPS.

"(They) are currently well. They are being closely monitored and will undergo another swab test before they are allowed to join the general inmate population," said the prison service.

SPS staff members who manage new admissions do so wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). They "remain well", said SPS.

"SPS is working closely with MOH on the contact tracing efforts for this case," it said.

READ: Three inmates, one nurse at Changi Prison tested positive for COVID-19 between April and May: SPS

The new case at Changi Prison comes after SPS reported last month that three inmates and a staff nurse working there had also tested positive for COVID-19. 

The four cases were unlinked, SPS said then, adding that the three inmates admitted to the prison on different days and were tested as part of the admission process. They did not come into contact with the general inmate population at any time.

The first inmate had tested positive on Apr 21, the second inmate on Apr 22, and the third inmate on May 9. The healthcare worker tested positive for COVID-19 on Apr 24.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

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Source: CNA/aj(ta)

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