SINGAPORE: One community case was among 12 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Tuesday (Apr 27).
The 42-year-old Indonesian man, Case 62485, is a sea crew working on board bunker tanker MT ALLI. He had not disembarked from the vessel except to go for his COVID-19 vaccination, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The man is linked to the Case 62113 cluster, which now has six infections, and is identified as a close contact.
He was placed on quarantine on Apr 18 at a dedicated facility and was tested on Apr 19. His test result came back negative for COVID-19.
The man later developed a cough and sore throat on Apr 25 and reported his symptoms, said MOH, adding that he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases the next day.
"His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection, and his serology test is negative," it said.
He received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Apr 8.
"As it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination, he was likely to have been infected before he was conferred protection after vaccination," said MOH.
The remaining 11 cases were imported and placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore, said MOH.
A Singaporean and three permanent residents who returned from India, Ivory Coast and Kazakhstan were among the 11 imported cases reported on Tuesday.
Two were dependent's pass holders who arrived from Nepal.
A foreign domestic worker is among four work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The remaining case is a student's pass holder who arrived from Malaysia.
READ: Singapore's COVID-19 measure barring visitors from India is not based on nationality: Ong Ye Kung
No new infections were reported in migrant workers' dormitories.
A total of 24 recovered workers for found to be positive for COVID-19, as MOH and the manpower ministry started a special testing operation to test residents of Westlite Woodlands Dormitory, including recovered workers for COVID-19 infection.
MOH and an expert panel of infectious diseases and microbiology experts, investigated these cases to assess if they are cases of re-infection or past infections who are shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others.
Of the 24 cases, 11 are assessed to be shedding virus fragments and five are likely to be cases of COVID-19 reinfection. Two cases are determined to be negative for COVID-19 upon retesting and the remaining six cases are pending assessment.
READ: Sole dormitory COVID-19 case unlinked to other cases at Westlite Woodlands dorm; worker ‘likely’ caught virus overseas
22 CASES DISCHARGED
MOH said 22 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. In all, 60,704 have fully recovered from the infection.
There are 108 confirmed cases still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with no patients in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another 221 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities. They have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community has increased from nine cases in the week before to 11 cases in the past week.
The number of unlinked cases in the community has remained stable at four cases per week in the past two weeks.
Among the 198 confirmed cases reported from Apr 21 to Wednesday, 74 cases have tested positive for their serology tests. A total of 80 test results were negative, with the remaining 44 serology test results are pending.
STRICTER CONDITIONS FOR SINGAPORE-HONG KONG TRAVEL BUBBLE
Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed to set May 26 as the launch date of their travel bubble.
Under the travel bubble, there are no restrictions on the purpose of travel and no requirements for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship. Visitors have to take pre-departure and on-arrival COVID-19 swab tests and travel on designated flights operated by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
The travel bubble will be suspended if the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either city increases to above five. It can only resume when the COVID-19 situation has stabilised, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said on Monday.
The travel bubble was originally scheduled to begin in November last year, but was deferred due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
Stricter conditions will be introduced for the travel bubble's resumption. This includes travellers having to remain in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 days prior to departure, excluding any time spent in quarantine or on stay-home notice.
Hong Kong also requires its residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before departing on the flights, with some exceptions made for children and those not suitable for vaccination on medical grounds.
As of Tuesday, Singapore has reported a total of 61,063 COVID-19 cases and 30 fatalities.