SINGAPORE: Singapore reported 18 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (Feb 12), including two cases in the community who are linked to the Chinatown Complex stall owner who had earlier tested positive.
There were 16 imported cases, who were placed on stay-home notice upon arrival in Singapore and were tested while serving their notice, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its update.
The two new community cases are the Chinatown Complex stall owner's 33-year-old son and 62-year-old wife.
The 66-year-old stall owner and his other son, 32, were reported as COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
The four of them form a new cluster linked to the stall owner, identified as case 60138, said MOH.
READ: Chinatown Complex stall owner and son who works at Changi Airport Swensen's test positive for COVID-19
The 33-year-old son, who is unemployed, was identified as a close contact of case 60138. He was placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility on Feb 10.
The Singaporean man was tested for COVID-19 on Feb 11 even though he was asymptomatic. His test result came back positive on the same day, and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) by ambulance.
His serology test result has come back positive.
The stall owner's wife, a homemaker, was placed on quarantine at a dedicated facility on Feb 10 when case 60138 was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection.
The Singaporean woman was tested for COVID-19 on the same day even though she was asymptomatic. Her test came back positive on Feb 11 and she was taken to NCID in an ambulance.
Her serology test result came back negative, indicating that this was likely a current infection.
Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, said MOH.
EFFECTIVE CONTACT TRACING KEY: MOH
All the identified close contacts of the cases, including their 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 so that asymptomatic cases can be detected.
MOH said it will also conduct serological tests for the close contacts to determine if the cases could have been infected by them.
"Effective contact tracing is an important enabler to ringfence community transmission," added the ministry.
MOH noted that both stall owner's wife and 33-year-old son do not use the TraceTogether app, and while they both have TraceTogether tokens, they did not carry their tokens with them.
"Individuals are reminded to turn on their TraceTogether app or carry their TraceTogether token at all times so that we can quickly identify and isolate the close contacts of COVID-19 cases, and limit further infections," said MOH.
READ: Chinatown Complex, City Square Mall among places visited by COVID-19 community cases during infectious period
Two supermarkets within shopping malls in Pasir Ris were added to MOH's list of places visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period.
The NTUC FairPrice at Pasir Ris West Plaza was visited on Feb 3, Feb 6 and Feb 10, while the Sheng Siong Supermarket at Elias Mall was visited on Jan 29, Feb 5 and Feb 9.
16 IMPORTED CASES
One of the imported cases, a long-term visit pass holder who arrived from Indonesia, arrived from Indonesia on Nov 26 last year and served stay-home notice at a dedicated facility until Dec 10, said MOH.
His swab done on Dec 6 while serving his notice was negative.
He was asymptomatic and was detected when he took a COVID-19 pre-departure test on Feb 10 in preparation for his return to Indonesia.
His test result came back positive for COVID-19 infection the next day, although the Ct value was very high, which is indicative of a low viral load.
His serological test result has also come back positive.
"He reported that before his trip to Singapore, he had interacted with his sibling in Indonesia who was confirmed to have COVID-19 infection in October 2020.
"Given that these indicate likely past infection, we have classified the case as imported. He is likely to be shedding minute fragments of the virus RNA, which are no longer transmissible and infective to others," said MOH.
Three permanent residents who returned from India and Indonesia were also among the 16 imported cases.
One imported case is a dependant's pass holder who arrived from the UAE.
There were also four work-pass holders who arrived from Myanmar, the Philippines and UAE among the imported cases.
The remaining seven imported infections involved work permit holders who arrived from India, Indonesia and Myanmar. All except one of them are domestic workers.
11 MORE CASES DISCHARGED
MOH said on Friday 11 more COVID-19 cases have been discharged from hospitals or community isolation facilities. A total of 59,569 patients have fully recovered from the infection.
There are now 31 confirmed cases who are still in hospital, most of whom are stable or improving, with one patient in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another 148 cases are isolated and cared for at community facilities.
READ: Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine authorised for use in Singapore, first shipment expected around March
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday said the bulk of Singapore's economy is expected to recover this year after last year's drubbing from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some sectors - such as transport, tourism and aviation - may take a longer time to do so, Mr Lee told reporters after visiting Singapore Airlines and Changi General Hospital staff members on the first day of Chinese New Year.