SINGAPORE: A senior pastor of the Grace Assembly of God church is among those from the church who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a letter on Thursday (Feb 13) to members of the church, Pastor Wilson Teo told members of the congregation that he has been warded in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) since Feb 11.
Seven confirmed coronavirus cases are linked to cluster associated with the church. The first two cases were announced on Wednesday, while the other five were announced on Thursday. At least three of them work at the church, which has a branch in Tanglin and another in Bukit Batok.
“I am sorry for adding another concern to you with this news,” the senior pastor wrote. “Please rest assured that I am recovering well. I am looking forward to my full recovery, when I will share with all of you on Grace Assembly's journey in overcoming this virus.”
He said contact tracing by MOH has started and individuals who were close contacts of the confirmed cases would be informed.
"If you have not been contacted by MOH, please live your life as normally as you can, even if you had attended church services or activities in the last two weeks," he wrote.
"You should exercise the usual hygiene precautions. However, if you are unwell, please see a doctor immediately."
All of the church’s staff members will also be issued with a home quarantine order by the Ministry of Health, he said.
He noted that some members of the church have shared that their employers are concerned about "possible exposure" to the confirmed cases.
"Please be assured that MOH is looking into this, and higher risk groups are notified with Leave of Absence (LOA) or given home quarantine order," Mr Teo added.
"Alternatively, you may wish to work with your employers on the precautionary arrangements that are acceptable to your organisation."
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The church’s branches at Tanglin and Bukit Batok will be closed for two weeks, from Feb 14 to Feb 25.
“However, with the evolving situation, we must be prepared that things may get worse,” Mr Teo said.
He said he was "moved by the courage" of several church members who have offered to deliver meals and groceries to other members under home quarantine.