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10 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including Changi Airport cleaner and dormitory resident

10 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, including Changi Airport cleaner and dormitory resident

Airport workers walk along the transit area at Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on Jun 8, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 10 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Tuesday (Dec 1), including two locally transmitted infections. 

One of the local infections was in the community, involving a 66-year-old woman who works as a cleaner at the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.

The other case lives in a foreign workers' dormitory, the first such infection since Nov 10.

There were eight imported cases, all of whom were all placed on stay-home notice or isolated upon arrival in Singapore. 



COMMUNITY CASE 

The Changi Airport cleaner who contracted COVID-19 was asymptomatic. 

Her infection, which is currently unlinked, was detected through the authorities' bi-weekly routine testing of workers at the frontline.

"Her serological test result is negative, which indicates a likely current infection," said MOH.

According to the ministry, the woman stays at Yishun Ring Road with her husband who is currently unemployed. 

"At work, she dons personal protective equipment, including a face mask, face shield, gloves and gown. Her earlier swabs done as part of RRT (rostered routine testing) were all negative," said MOH.

All her identified close contacts, including her family members and co-workers, have been isolated and placed on quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period.

"We will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the (case) could have been infected by them," MOH said.

Last month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said safety management measures at Changi Airport have been enhanced to protect frontline workers after two people who worked at Terminal 3 tested positive for COVID-19 in October. 

For instance, all airport workers who come into "close contact" with travellers from high-risk countries or regions will be required to wear full personal protection equipment. This comprises face masks, face shield or goggles, gloves, shoe covers and medical gowns, where necessary.

READ: Enhanced safety management measures at Changi Airport after 2 workers test positive for COVID-19

In September, a COVID-19 case had gone to work at Changi Airport. He was a household contact of another community case.

DORMITORY CASE

The dormitory case reported on Tuesday was also asymptomatic and was detected through the ministry's "proactive surveillance".

He was taken to hospital when his swab result came back positive for COVID-19, and all his close contacts at the dormitory and his workplace have been isolated and placed on quarantine.

IMPORTED CASES

Among the eight imported cases, one was a special pass holder who entered Singapore from Indonesia and was arrested by the Police Coast Guard for his suspected involvement in a prior case. 

He was tested for COVID-19 and isolated until he was taken to hospital when his result came back positive.

The other imported cases include a work pass holder from Japan and five work permit holders from Indonesia and Myanmar. 

Another case involved a long-term visit pass holder - a one-year-old boy who arrived from Russia. He is a contact of a previous case.

DISCHARGED CASES

Five more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing the total recoveries to 58,139, said MOH.

There are 29 cases who are still in hospital. Most are stable or improving, and no one is in the intensive care unit. 

Thirty-one 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. 

As of Tuesday, Singapore has reported 58,228 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease.

​​​​​​​AIR TRAVEL BUBBLE DEFERRED

Singapore and Hong Kong said earlier on Tuesday that they will defer the launch of an air travel bubble to next year amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Chinese city.

The travel bubble was slated to start on Nov 22, but both cities had said a day before the initial launch that the start date would be delayed by two weeks. 

A new start date for the travel bubble will be reviewed in late December, Singapore's aviation authority said.

READ: Singapore, Hong Kong to defer air travel bubble launch

Under the travel bubble, travellers between Singapore and Hong Kong will be subject to COVID-19 tests, in lieu of quarantine or stay-home notice. There will be no restrictions on the purpose of travel and no requirement for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship.

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Source: CNA/jt

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