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2 community infections among 22 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

2 community infections among 22 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore

People wearing face masks are seen at Singapore Changi Airport on Nov 2, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Two new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported in Singapore as of noon on Monday (Feb 8), said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Both cases were in the community, and no new infections were reported in foreign workers' dormitories. The community cases are currently unlinked.

One is a 49-year-old Singaporean man who works as a bus driver. His job involves transporting people from Changi Airport to dedicated facilities to serve their stay-home notices. 

READ: Bus driver who takes people from Changi Airport to stay-home notice facilities tests positive for COVID-19

WORK PASS HOLDER AMONG COMMUNITY CASE

The other community case is a 30-year-old Indian national who is a work pass holder. He works as an engineer at Station Satcom and boards ships to install communication and IT equipment as part of his job, said MOH. 

The man was earlier identified as a close contact of Case 59208, a sea crew member who arrived from Japan on board a vessel. Case 59208 was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Jan 11. 

The 30-year-old Indian national was placed in quarantine from Jan 13 to Jan 24 and his two swabs taken during quarantine were negative for COVID-19. 

READ: Firm to step up measures after COVID-19 case involving employee who works at Changi Airport

Subsequent tests done as part of rostered routine testing, the last being on Jan 29, were also negative for COVID-19, said MOH. He received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 27.

The man developed fatigue on Feb 4 and a fever the next day but did not seek medical attention, said the Health Ministry. He was tested for COVID-19 as part of rostered routine testing on Feb 5 and his test result came back positive the next day. He was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in an ambulance. 

"While his serological test taken on Feb 7 has come back positive, this is assessed to be a recent infection as he is symptomatic, and the Ct value for his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was low," said MOH. 

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine accounts for his positive serology test as he has likely started producing antibodies following his vaccination, the Health Ministry said.

"As the vaccine does not contain live virus, he could not have been infected due to vaccination. It is possible for one to be infected just before or just after vaccination as it typically takes a few weeks for an individual to build up immunity after completing vaccination," added MOH.

READ: Punggol Plaza, FairPrice at Kallang Wave Mall among places visited by COVID-19 community cases while infectious

READ: What we know so far about COVID-19 reinfection 

Epidemiological investigations are ongoing and all 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 so that asymptomatic cases can be detected. 

Serological tests will also be conducted for the close contacts to determine if the cases could have been infected by them. 



FOUR SINGAPOREANS AMONG IMPORTED CASES

Twenty imported cases were reported, all of whom were placed on stay-home notice upon their arrival in Singapore, said the ministry. 

Of the 20 cases, four are Singaporeans and three are permanent residents who returned from Canada, India and the United Arab Emirates.

Two of the imported cases are dependant's pass holders who arrived from India and the UAE, while another three are work pass holders who arrived from India, Nepal and the Philippines. 

MOH reported that seven are work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, of whom five are foreign domestic workers. 

The remaining imported case is a short-term visit pass holder who arrived from Malawi to visit her Singaporean relatives. 

All the cases were tested while serving their stay-home notice. 

51 MORE CASES DISCHARGED

Another 51 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities, bringing Singapore's total recoveries to 59,484.

There are 44 cases still in the hospital. Most of them are stable or improving, and one person is in a critical condition in the intensive care unit. 

A total of 164 patients are isolated and cared for at community facilities. There are people who have mild symptoms, or are clinically well but still test positive for COVID-19.

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

The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from two cases in the week before to four cases in the past week. 

"We will continue to closely monitor these numbers, as well as the cases detected through our surveillance programme," said MOH.

As of Monday, Singapore has reported a total of 59,721 COVID-19 cases and 29 fatalities from the disease.

SNEC EMPLOYEE GIVEN 5 DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE

On Saturday, the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) said one of its employees was wrongly administered the equivalent of five doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine due to a human error. 

The error happened on Jan 14 during a vaccination exercise conducted at SNEC for its staff members.

“The error was discovered within minutes of the vaccination when the staff (member) was resting in a designated area after vaccination,” said SNEC on Saturday.

“Senior doctors were alerted immediately and the staff (member) was assessed and found to be well, with no adverse reaction or side effects.”

READ: Getting more than the recommended dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to be harmful: MOH

As a precaution, the affected employee was warded at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for observation. 

MOH said receiving more than the recommended dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to be harmful.

It added that the incident at SNEC was an isolated one, and that it has not been notified of any similar incidents at other vaccination sites.

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Source: CNA/cy

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