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PSA port workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal to be tested after new COVID-19 cluster found

PSA port workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal to be tested after new COVID-19 cluster found

File photo of the Pasir Panjang Terminal (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health (MOH) will conduct "special testing operations" for PSA Singapore port workers at Pasir Panjang Terminal as a precautionary measure, after a new COVID-19 cluster was reported there.

This comes after a trailer truck driver at Brani Terminal and Pasir Panjang Terminal tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday (May 4), said MOH.

The 59-year-old Singaporean man is employed by GKE Express Logistics and was last at work on May 1.

The man, identified as Case 62824, is linked to three previous dormitory cases, all of whom had been at Pasir Panjang Terminal for work. The three dormitory cases tested positive last month.

"Transmission could have occurred at the terminal," said MOH. "Further epidemiological investigations are ongoing."

The latest cluster brings the number of active clusters in Singapore to 10.

READ: 1 community case among 16 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore

DRIVER HAD FEVER, SORE THROAT

The trailer truck driver was the sole community case among 16 new COVID-19 infections reported in Singapore on Wednesday. The remaining cases are imported.

The man developed a fever and sore throat on Sunday and remained at home, said MOH.

The next day, he sought medical treatment at a general practitioner clinic and was tested for COVID-19. His result came back positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, and he was taken in an ambulance to Alexandra Hospital. 

His serology test result is pending.

FOUR CASES IN CLUSTER

The other cases in the cluster are Cases 61822, 62684, and 62691.

The first detected case in the cluster was Case 61822, a 23-year-old Indian national who works as a lashing specialist at Pasir Panjang Terminal. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 10.

He is employed by Seafront Support Company and lives in a dormitory located at Brani Terminal Avenue, said MOH in its daily update on Apr 11.

The man, who was asymptomatic, was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 17.

He was detected during a pooled test, with his subsequent individual test also coming back positive.

READ: 2 workers living at Pasir Panjang Residence dormitory among new COVID-19 infections

Case 62691 is a 35 year-old Myanmar national who works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal and Brani Terminal. He lives at Pasir Panjang Residence.

He is asymptomatic, and was detected during a rostered routine test on Apr 28, said MOH on May 1.

He was also fully vaccinated, having received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 3.

Case 62684 is a 23-year-old Indian national who also works as a stevedore at Pasir Panjang Terminal. He also lives at Pasir Panjang Residence.

He was asymptomatic and detected as part of MOH's active case-finding following the detection of Case 62691, said the ministry. He was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Apr 30.

The man was also asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, having received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb 22.

A spokesperson for PSA Singapore said on Thursday that it is working with authorities on contact tracing and testing, and has taken "enhanced precautionary measures" in its terminals.

"Besides conducting the disinfection of common areas, we are carrying out deep cleaning procedures in line with the National Environment Agency’s guidelines at the affected dormitories and common facilities such as canteens, entry/exit areas and toilets," the spokesperson added.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, lashing teams don personal protective equipment before boarding vessels and "strictly" stay within their work areas when on board, said the spokesperson.

Since Apr 30, a contactless segregated mode of cargo operations has been implemented to avoid contact between vessel crew members and lashing teams.

"This is to safeguard the health and safety of both parties while continuing with operations at our terminals.The health and well-being of our employees, customers, partners and port users are a top priority for us," said the spokesperson.

"PSA is monitoring the situation closely and is ready to implement additional precautionary measures to prevent any spread of infection, while minimising disruption to our port operations."

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