SINGAPORE: An Indonesian maid is the sole community case among eight new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore as of noon on Thursday (Mar 11).
The remaining seven cases were imported infections and were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). No new infections were reported in migrant worker dormitories.
The 37-year-old foreign domestic worker from Indonesia is the sole community case reported on Thursday. Known as Case 60818, she arrived in Singapore on Jan 20 and served her stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Feb 3.
A swab on Feb 2 was negative for COVID-19. Her pre-departure test taken in Indonesia on Jan 18 also returned negative, said MOH.
She is asymptomatic and was detected when she was tested on Mar 9 as part of MOH’s investigation into a previous infection, Case 60666. Case 60666 is a 35-year-old Indonesian maid who tested positive for COVID-19 on Mar 4, but an additional test taken by the National Public Health Laboratory on Mar 5 came back negative.
"As an added precaution, MOH tested all attendees of the Settling in Programme for foreign domestic workers on Feb 4, which both Case 60666 and 60818 attended, even though they were not close contacts," said MOH on Thursday.
The 37-year-old woman's test came back positive for COVID-19 on Mar 9, and she was taken by ambulance to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.
Her serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection, MOH added.
"However as we are unable to definitively confirm her date of infection, we will take all the necessary public health actions as a precautionary measure," the Health Ministry said.
"Based on our epidemiological investigations, Cases 60666 and 60818 are likely to have been separately infected earlier and there is currently no evidence that the two cases are linked."
Of the seven imported cases, one is a Singaporean who returned from Qatar.
Four other imported cases are work permit holders who arrived from Bangladesh, India and Malaysia. The remaining two cases are a student's pass holder and a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from India.
Another 28 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 59,939 have fully recovered from the infection.
A total of 21 cases are still in hospital. Of these, most are stable or improving, and one is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.
MOH reported that 81 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are those who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
READ: COVID-19 vaccination for people aged 60 to 69 brought forward, invitations to go out in 'next few days': MOH
More than 150,000 teachers and other workers in the education sector are being offered COVID-19 vaccinations in an extension of Singapore's inoculation drive from Wednesday.
"It complements existing efforts to keep our educational institutions safe, as children and the majority of our students are not yet medically eligible for vaccination," authorities said on Monday.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use only in people aged 16 and above. The Moderna vaccine is only approved for use in those aged 18 years and older.
Vaccinations for people aged 70 and above began on Feb 22, and letters have been sent to those aged 60 to 69 inviting them to make appointments for their vaccination.
More than 392,000 people in Singapore have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, said MOH. Of these, more than 218,000 have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regime.
As of Thursday, Singapore has reported a total of 60,070 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease.