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COVID-19: Elderly man who initially tested negative despite symptoms among 2 new community cases

COVID-19: Elderly man who initially tested negative despite symptoms among 2 new community cases

A woman walks along the waterfront near Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on Nov 28, 2020.

SINGAPORE: Two unlinked community cases were among the 23 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Wednesday (Mar 3).

The remaining 21 cases were imported infections and were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). No new cases were reported in foreign worker dormitories.

RETIREE, HOMEMAKER AMONG COMMUNITY CASES

One of the community cases is an 82-year-old Singaporean man. The retiree developed a runny nose, body aches and chills on Feb 14 and sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic on Feb 22. He was tested for COVID-19 but his test came back negative, said MOH.

On Mar 1, he sought medical treatment again as he was still feeling unwell, and was swabbed again for COVID-19. His test came back positive the next day and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). 

His serological test result has come back negative, indicating that this is likely a current infection, said MOH.

"While he had registered for COVID-19 vaccination on Feb 22, he did not proceed with vaccination on his appointment date as he had been advised earlier by his doctor to postpone vaccination if he was feeling unwell," added the Health Ministry.

The other community case is a 38-year-old permanent resident. The homemaker was asymptomatic, and her infection was detected when she took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Mar 2 in preparation for a trip to India. 

Her result came back positive the next day and she was taken to NCID in an ambulance. Her serological test result is pending.

MOH said all the identified close contacts of the cases have been isolated and placed in quarantine. They will be tested at the start and end of their quarantine period and serological tests will be conducted for them as well. 

READ: Singapore played 'key role' in efforts to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines to all countries: Vivian Balakrishnan

IMPORTED CASES

Twenty of the imported cases are work pass holders who arrived from India, Nepal and Nigeria. The remaining imported infection is a permanent resident who arrived from Indonesia.

MOH said the overall number of new cases in the community has increased from two cases in the week before to four cases in the past week.

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from none in the week before to four cases in the past week.

Among the 89 confirmed cases reported from Feb 25 to Mar 3, 35 cases have tested positive for their serology tests. Another 26 have tested negative and 28 serology test results are pending.

The health ministry also added several new locations to its list of places visited by COVID-19 cases in the community during their infectious period.

These locations include Mustafa Centre, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple along Serangoon Road and Murugan Idli Shop along Syed Alwi Road. 

Ang Mo Supermarket and GHK 407 Food House in Ang Mo Kio were also visited. 

7 MORE PATIENTS DISCHARGED 

Seven more cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 59,849.

There are 18 cases still in hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

Another 83 cases are being isolated and cared for at community facilities. These are people who have mild symptoms or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,979 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease.



READ: Commentary - Concerns over long-term side effects could hold back Singapore's COVID-19 vaccination programme

On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the number of new COVID-19 infections globally rose last week for the first time in seven weeks.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the rise in cases was "disappointing but not surprising" and urged countries not to relax measures to fight the disease.

It was too early for countries to rely solely on vaccination programmes and abandon other measures, he said: "If countries rely solely on vaccines, they are making a mistake. Basic public health measures remain the foundation of the response."

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Source: CNA/dv(rw)/zl

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