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Both new community cases in Singapore had tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times

Both new community cases in Singapore had tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times

People wearing face masks at Bedok Town Square on Sep 4, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: The two new community cases reported in Singapore on Friday (Apr 16) had tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times during their pre-departure tests, on-arrival tests and while serving stay-home notice after arriving from Indonesia and India.

They are among 34 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health's (MOH) daily COVID-19 update.


One of the community cases is a 34-year-old Indian national who is a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS), said the ministry.

The work-pass holder, who is identified as Case 61993, had gone to work on Apr 12, and he had onset of symptoms in the evening while at work, a day after he completed his quarantine.

Previously, he travelled to India from Dec 28 to Mar 21 and served his stay-home notice at a dedicated facility upon his return. 

He had tested negative for COVID-19 several times, the first of which was a pre-departure test in India on Mar 19.

While on stay-home notice, he was identified as a close contact of a previously confirmed case, Case 61141, during their flight to Singapore. 

Case 61141 is a 33-year-old work permit holder from India, whose infection was confirmed on Mar 23.

The senior research fellow was then placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility on Mar 24. His tests taken during quarantine on Mar 25, Apr 3 and Apr 10 were negative.

READ: Migrant worker who tested positive for COVID-19 completed vaccination

The man completed his quarantine on Apr 11 but developed fatigue a day later while he was at work in NUS in the evening.  

On Apr 13, he developed a sore throat and body aches, and had a fever the next day, said MOH.

He stayed at home from Apr 13 and only left his residence to seek medical treatment at a polyclinic the next day, where he was tested for COVID-19.

His test result came back positive on Apr 15 and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance.

"His serology result has come back negative, indicating that this is a current infection," said MOH.


The other community infection involves a 44-year-old Indonesian man on a short-term visit pass.

"He arrived from Indonesia on Feb 28 as caregiver to his father who was already receiving medical care in Singapore and had returned for further treatment for a condition that is not related to COVID-19," said MOH.

The man tested negative for COVID-19 on three occasions: A pre-departure test in Indonesia on Feb 26, a test in Singapore on Mar 1, and another on Mar 13 during his stay-home notice at dedicated facility.

He is asymptomatic and was detected when he took a pre-departure test on Apr 14 in preparation for his return to Indonesia.

His test result came back positive on the same day and he was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

His serology test result is pending, said MOH.

"Epidemiological investigations are ongoing," said MOH. "In the meantime, all the identified close contacts of the cases, including their family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine, and will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period so that we can detect asymptomatic cases.

"We will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the cases could have been infected by them."


On Friday, a canteen at NUS and Chinatown Point were added to a list of public places visited by confirmed cases while infectious.

The Techno Edge Canteen at NUS Information Technology, located at 2 Engineering Drive 4, was visited last Monday between 12.30pm and 1pm.

Chinatown Point was visited on Apr 3 from 2.25pm to 4.15pm.

Prior to Friday, the last COVID-19 case in the community was reported on Wednesday, forming a cluster of infections with three other previously confirmed cases.

The remaining 32 new cases on Friday were imported, and placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore.

No new infections were reported in migrant workers’ dormitories.

Singapore has reported a total of 60,769 COVID-19 cases and 30 fatalities as of Friday.

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Source: CNA/jt


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